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NIH Record  
Vol. LXIV, No. 20
  September 28, 2012
NIH Safety, Health & Wellness Day Promotes Worker Well-Being
NIH Scientists Receive 2012 Service to America Medals
Graduates of NIH Midlevel Leadership Program Get Advice
Rural Students Soar with ‘Aspirnaut’ Science Programs
Students from Diverse Backgrounds Learn About NIDDK Research
Teens Team Up with NIH Scientists to Explore the Developing Brain
NIH Holds Hiring Event for Vets, People with Disabilities
Tougaloo College Students Visit NIH
NIDCD’s ‘Noisy Planet’ Stars on Jeopardy!
NIEHS Launches 5-Year Strategic Plan
GSA, JBG Discuss Progress of New NIAID Building
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NIH Hosts ‘Celebration of Science’ at Natcher

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins (r) talks about work on an HIV vaccine with Dr. Peter Kwong of the VRC at the Saturday event.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins (r) talks about work on an HIV vaccine with Dr. Peter Kwong of the VRC at the Saturday event.

On Sept. 8, NIH hosted a “Celebration of Science,” organized in Washington, D.C., by the Milken Institute and FasterCures. The Saturday session at Natcher Conference Center featured frank talk on a difficult budget situation by members of Congress, a series of scientific presentations that paired investigators with appreciative patients, panel discussions hosted by event benefactor Michael Milken, and NIH director Dr. Francis Collins both delivering remarks in Kirschstein Auditorium then hosting live remote video broadcasts from three cutting-edge NIH labs.

The audience included NIH stakeholders from academia, industry and patient advocacy groups from around the U.S. Collins asked them to imagine a near-horizon of medical advances including steps toward a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, targeted therapy for tumors, a one-time universal influenza vaccine, solutions to the problems of obesity and diabetes and the ability to transform skin cells into liver and kidney cells and other cell lines that could be used to test drug safety.

Austin Named NCATS Director

Dr. Christopher P. Austin has been named director of NIH’s newest center, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins made the announcement at the inaugural meetings of the NCATS Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) review board. Austin succeeded NCATS acting director Dr. Thomas Insel on Sept. 23.

Austin had been serving as director of NCATS’ Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation since the NCATS launch in December 2011.

“Dr. Austin’s accomplishments in virtually every stage of the translational science spectrum make him an ideal choice to continue building on NCATS’ momentum and successes,” Collins said. “From his clinical experience to his work in the public and private sectors, he is poised to lead the center in revolutionizing the science of transforming laboratory discoveries into new therapies for patients.”