Amanda Young suffered from spinal meningitis, gas gangrene, salmonella poisoning of the sinuses, and an abdominal abscess before age 20, with no explanation why. She came to the Clinical Center in 1990 for the first of many visits in hopes that CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin could figure out what was ravaging her young body. Young remembers down to the minute when she learned that she had an IRAK-4 deficiency, an extremely rare genetic mutation that affects her body's ability to create a protein needed to fight bacteria, leaving her vulnerable to life-threatening infections.
In 2008 it seemed that Young's condition was improving, and she has had no major health situations since. Still, she visits the CC once a year, and was here last in February.
Her samples also may be used to learn about the immune system related to lupus, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and heart disease, said Young, who is honored to help. "Just from what my body is doing, it's helping learn about diseases that millions suffer from," she said, sounding astonished.
Young shares her story as a motivational speaker in and around her hometown of Conyers, Ga., recalling her path through "medical chaos"—as she calls it—and her emergence on the other side with a smile to boot.
Read more about Young's journey and diagnosis in the June 2008 issue of CC News.
Art project educates on imaging with Barbies, burgers
Computed tomography (CT) scans usually show disease, or hopefully lack of such, in patients. Visitors to Clinical Center Radiology and Imaging Sciences (RIS) now can see how toys, electronics, and even food look through the imaging equipment.
The Radiology Art project from former art professor and current Weill Cornell Medical College student Satre Stuelke sends inanimate objects through a CT scanner. The time on the Cornell machine is donated by the medical college's Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center. Colors are assigned to densities, and contrast and balance are manipulated to create the neon still-lifes.
A new monitor display running on screens in the RIS waiting area and near staff offices will loop a selection of Stuelke's works through the month of May. Other slides are of publication abstracts, staff profiles, and department announcements.
"This exhibit illustrates the 3-dimensional nature achieved by state-of-the-art radiology techniques that are currently in use. The 3D images of familiar objects are easier to understand than complex medical anatomy," said Dr. David Bluemke, RIS director.
Stuelke has a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and taught at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan before going back to school to pursue a medical degree. His project examines the connection between objects that humans form a connection to—stuffed animals, cell phones, and fast food—by revealing their make-up.
"The works bring patients—already in a vulnerable and scary position, about to go into a giant machine—a little closer to how a radiologist might approach an image of their bodies," Stuelke said. "If patients are already familiar with a common everyday object I've scanned, then the CT scan of that object is going to reveal to them a structure that they can more readily understand and reconstruct in their minds as it relates to the entire object."
RIS fellows Genevieve Jacobs and Faezeh Razjouyan are coordinating the monitors' display. Of their choice to include the Radiology Art project, Jacobs said, "We wanted to create something fun, but also informative."
"This is a positive way to see how a CT scan works," Razjouyan said.
International field physician draws a crowd in Lipsett
Reflecting on the lessons learned and challenges faced in the field with international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Dr. Jean-Herve Bradol spoke to a packed Lipsett Auditorium on April 16.
Director of research at the MSF Center for Reflection on Humanitarian Action & Knowledge, Bradol has extensive field experience with MSF including in refugee camps in Thailand and in Rwanda during the early 1990s. He also served as president of MSF-France for eight years and is a former board member of MSF-USA.
Dr. Christine Grady, acting chief of the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics, introduced Bradol, calling him a "widely respected humanitarian."
"But setting up trials in those environments is not that easy," Bradol said. The refugee community was not initially receptive to using a Chinese drug not registered in their country, and ethical concerns were rampant in conducting research with such a patient population.
"How can a refugee give consent when the question is asked by the very organization that provides their basic survival? The person is not really in a position to say no," Bradol said. He reported that with advance treatments and preventive measures such as mosquito nets, malaria is no longer a major public health issue in that area.
His lecture coincided with the release of the MSF collection Medical Innovation in Humanitarian Situations: The Work of Médecins Sans Frontieres, which illustrates 10 examples of the complexities of introducing medical innovations in the midst of difficult humanitarian crises.
Patient performs in piano concert series
"Music is probably the most complicated invention given to man," said Smith. "Its potentials are endless, and the mysterious workings of music perform their interventions to charge a person—it uplifts, comforts, inspires."
With suspicion of prostate cancer, Smith entered an NCI protocol in 2005. He credits the advanced imaging equipment here for finding his cancer and has been on hormonal therapy since the condition was confirmed. His prostate-specific antigen has been nearly undetectable for years. He shows no signs of metastasis. "You could call me fairly clean of cancer," said Smith, who returns here periodically for follow-up. "It's been very helpful to have NIH as an anchor and guiding beacon. I truly believe the NIH facility saved my life."
That life has been focused on the piano since age 12, when Smith first began working seriously at the instrument. He was composing his own works the following year, and debuted that year in Chicago. He continued to publicly perform his works, as well as many works by other composers, arousing the sustained audience and critical accolades that continue to follow him today. He went on to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy for gifted youth and the University of Michigan, majoring in piano and composition.
Smith, who performs internationally to great critical acclaim, is typically known to perform benefit concerts for worthy causes, amid his regular concert itinerary, and strongly feels the need to dutifully share the gifts he has been given to benefit others. "The strong message is hope. You have to muster everything within yourself and be of positive mental attitude, and share the message with others," he said.
Volunteer Program honors outstanding service to the CC mission
The Clinical Center Social Work Department honored hospital volunteers April 19 to 25 as part of National Volunteer Week, a celebration of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve communities across the country.
The 17th annual CC volunteer appreciation event on April 22 included presentation of special recognition awards to nine volunteers based on consistency, reliability, hours spent, or "general overall wonderfulness," as CC Volunteer Program coordinator Courtney Duncan said. Out of the 280 volunteers from the last year (currently 197 on board), honored were: Mark and Michelle Cohen, animal-assisted therapy program; Eileen De Santillana, Language Interpreters Program; Joanne Hill, Patient Ambassador Program; Saroja Kanesa-Thasan, Red Cross; Cynthia Kim, Patient Ambassador Program; Janet Logan, volunteering on OP 12 for 14 years; Monica Sullivan, Language Interpreters Program; and Armen Thomasian, Patient Ambassador Program.
In the celebration's welcome, CC Chief Operating Officer Maureen Gormley thanked the volunteers for their contribution to the CC's healing environment.
Specialized iron majors connect with the Clinical Center
Director of the NIH Dietetic Internship and supervisory metabolic dietitian LCDR Merel Kozlosky (front row, second from right) hosted (back row, from left) MAJ David Bauder, MAJ Rob Montz, CPT Tamara Osgood, MAJ Charles Quick, MAJ Jesse Ortel, and (front row) MAJ Reva Rogers, CPT(P) Mark Lester, and LTC Joanna Reagan.
Deputy director gives SHEA lecture
Clinical Center Deputy Director for Clinical Care Dr. David Henderson gave the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Lecture on March 20 at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Outcomes.
The SHEA Lectureship recognizes the career contributions of one senior investigator in infection prevention and control and health-care epidemiology each year. Henderson's presentation "Opportunists and Opportunities" reviewed his 30 years as a hospital epidemiologist at the CC and commented on options for and barriers to the society's success.
Updates and awards for Bedside-to-Bench program announced
Clinical Center Director Dr. John I. Gallin spoke on "The Pipeline of Clinical Research from Bench to Bedside and Back" at a lecture in Lipsett Auditorium on April 26 cosponsored by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group and the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program. Gallin provided an overview of the CC's contributions to turning "innovation into implementation."
A major cog in that machine is the Bedside-to-Bench Awards program, which supports projects to speed the work of basic and clinical scientists.
The call for FY2011 projects will go out in August. This year, CTSA and extramural researchers can initiate partnerships on proposals with intramural investigators. Previously, intramural researchers were required to serve as project leaders.
Projects funded for FY2010 are:
Role of gut-associated lymphoid tissue in HIV-1 persistence: NCI: F. Maldarelli, M. Kearney; University of Pittsburgh: D. McMahon; National Naval Medical Center: A. Ganesan
Multiplex microarray chip-based diagnosis of respiratory infections in HIV: CC: J. Kovacs, A. Suffredini, P. Murray; NIAID: S. Holland, J. Cuellar-Rodriguez; NCI: J. Gea-Banacloche, R. Lempicki; Washington Hospital Center: M. Smith
BEHAVIORAL & SOCIAL SCIENCES: Project funded by Office of Behavioral & Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
WOMEN'S HEALTH: Project funded by Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
MINORITY HEALTH: Projects co-funded by National Center for Minority Health & Health Disparities (NCMHD) and ICs
In vitro fucosylation to augment cord blood stem cell engraftment: NHLBI: R. Childs, J. Pantin; CC (Transfusion Medicine): D. Stroncek
Biochemical mechanisms of the etiology of sickle cell pain: NIDDK: A. Schechter; NINR: R. Dionne; CC (Transfusion Medicine): D. Stroncek, W. Smith; Beth Israel Medical Center: R. Portenoy, R. Cruciani
GENERAL: Projects co-funded by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and ICs
Imaging CXCR4-expressing cancer using 64CuAMD: NIAID: J. Farber, I. Weiss; NIBIB: X. Chen, O. Jacobson; NCI: P. Choyke; Georgetown University: C. Isaacs
PHARMACOGENOMICS: Project funded by Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
RARE DISEASES: Projects co-funded by Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) and ICs
Sympathetic innervation & myocardial injury in acute stress cardiomyopathy: CC, Radiology and Imaging Sciences: C. Sibley, D. Bluemke; NINDS: D. Goldstein; NHLBI: D. Rosing; Johns Hopkins: I. Wittstein, F. Bengel, J. Mudd, J. Lima
Preclinical testing of targeted agents for clinical development in NF1: NCI: A. Kim, B. Widemann, E. Dombi; Children's Hospital Medical Center: N. Ratner, J. Wu
The DICER1-related pleuropulmonary blastoma cancer predisposition Syndrome: NCI: C. Kratz, B. Alter, P. Rosenberg; National Children's Medical Center: A. Hill; Children's Hospital & Clinics of MN: Y. Messinger, K. Schulz
Brain development in children with Williams syndrome and the LIMK1 Gene: NIMH: K. Berman, J. Kleinman; University of Louisville: C. Mervis
The role of EGFR in endolymphatic sac tumors: NCI: P. Dennis; Yale University: A. Vortmeyer
RARE DISEASES DRUG DEVELOPMENT: Projects co-funded by Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) Program and ICs
Development of combination therapy for Niemann-Pick Disease, type C: NICHD: F. Porter, A. Yergey, S. Bianconi; NHGRI: W. Pavan ; Washington University: D. Ory
Gene therapy clinical trial for LAD-1 using a foamy viral vector: NCI: D. Hickstein; University of Washington Medical Center: D. Russell; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center: P. Malik
BH3 mimetics for the treatment of autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome: CC (Laboratory Medicine): J. Oliveira Filho, T. Fleisher; NIAID: V. Rao, K. Dowdell; NIDDK: D. Appella
Preventing aortic dilation in women with Turner syndrome: NICHD: C. Bondy, V. Bakalov, J. Zhou; NHLBI: A. Arai, D. Rosing, M. Boehm, V. Sachdev; Johns Hopkins University: J. Van Eyk, Q. Fu
Immunogenicity and leishmania vaccine potential of sandfly saliva in humans: NIAID: J. Valenzuela, S. Kamhawi; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Walter Reed Army Medical Center: N. Aronson; George Washington University: M. Bottazzi
IC-FUNDED: Project funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
CC offers educational fun on Take Your Child to Work Day
The Clinical Center hosted multiple events on Take Your Child to Work Day on April 22, including an inside look at imaging, veterinary services and anesthesia.
Department of Laboratory Medicine staffer Tor Moore (at right in photo) led youth on a "Fantastic Voyage Through the DLM" where visitors dressed up like medical technologists; performed laboratory tests; used microscopes to view microorganisms, parasites, and blood cells; learned how to collect specimens; and practiced using different laboratory equipment. The DLM main laboratory hosted a tour for parents and chaperons while the children were busy at work.
Ognibene elected to the Association of American Physicians
The Association of American Physicians—a nonprofit organization founded in 1885 for "the advancement of scientific and practical medicine"—elected Dr. Frederick P. Ognibene, Clinical Center deputy director for educational affairs and strategic partnerships, as a member this year. The association is composed of about 1200 active members and approximately 550 emeritus and honorary members, and election is an honor bestowed annually to only approximately 60 individuals.
The goals of the association include the pursuit of medical knowledge and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals are recognized by nomination for membership by the council of the association.
Also among the 59 members elected in 2010 is Dr. Mark Udey, chief of the Dermatology Branch and deputy director in the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research.
Laboratory Medicine notes dedicated week
Celebrating National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Gina Mattia (left) and Clara White, members of the Clinical Center's Department of Laboratory Medicine laboratory week committee, presented April 19 outside the second-floor cafeteria on the important contributions of the department.
"Seventy percent of diagnoses are made based on analysis of laboratory results," Mattia said. "It is the simple things that are so important, and they are determined within the laboratories."
DLM didn't go hungry during their professionals' week—the celebrations included a breakfast, a pizza party, and an ice cream social to thank employees in the various DLM services: chemistry, hematology, microbiology, flow cytometry, and phlebotomy.
"Medicine for the Public" at Suburban to discuss heart disease
The 2010 "Medicine for the Public" lecture will present the latest in research for heart health and disease on May 25 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md.
Since 1977, NIH researchers have educated the public about biomedical research through yearly "Medicine for the Public" programs. Through a new collaboration between the Clinical Center; Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine; and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine the goal of improved health literacy can be realized even more fully.
The May 25 lecture—"Roadmap to a Healthy Heart—Why Your Genes May Not Be Your Destiny"—will look at new, less invasive treatment options for heart disease, then introduce the new science of epigenetics and how behavioral and environmental factors may affect one’s genes and susceptibility to heart disease.
Presenting "The Future of Cardiac Surgery" will be Dr. Keith Horvath, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital; director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); and adjunct associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Attendees will hear "Epigenetic Influences on Cardiovascular Health and Disease" from Dr. Dina N. Paltoo, chair of the NHLBI Data Access Committee and program director for the Advanced Technologies and Surgery Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at the NHLBI.
The event is free and open to the public. It will run from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the Suburban Hospital Auditorium, with registration and refreshments at 6:30 pm. To register in advance, call 301-896-3939. Visit http://www.cc.nih.gov/about/news/mfp.shtml for more information.
CTSA visitors see latest from the Clinical Center
The Clinical Movement Analysis Lab in the Clinical Center Rehabilitation Medicine Department Functional & Applied Biomechanics Section was one stop for a group of visiting fellows from the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium on April 7. Launched in 2006, the CTSA program—led by the NIH National Center for Research Resources—creates academic homes for clinical and translational science at research institutions across the country.
In the Washington, DC, area for the 2010 Clinical and Translational Research and Education Meeting, sponsored by the Association for Clinical Research Training and the Society for Clinical and Translational Science, about 75 CTSA representatives from academia around the country—such as Morehouse School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, and Weill Cornell Medical College—toured the CC after an overview of the hospital from CC Deputy Director of Educational Affairs and Strategic Partnerships Dr. Frederick Ognibene.
Engineers Christopher Stanley (in front) and Lindsey Bellini demonstrated the capabilities of the newly updated Clinical Movement Analysis Lab. CTSA fellows also visited the new CC Pharmacy Department Pharmaceutical Development Section facility, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Vascular Biology area.
Kirschstein tribute: Inspiring the best in others
The events will begin at 9 am in Natcher Auditorium, Building 45, in remembrance of Kirschstein's life-long dedication to inspire the best in others. Current and former members of the NIH and Congress will be on hand to help celebrate her legacy. Speakers will include Dr. Laurie Boyer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Howard Chang, Stanford University; and Dr. Francis Lee, Weill Cornell Medical College.
The day will continue with a look forward as Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award recipients deliver scientific presentations and reflect on their own inspiration in the strive for excellence. The tribute will conclude with a poster session and reception from 5 to 7 pm.
Explore the Science of Community Engagement
This year's conference will emphasize how to identify and secure local and regional resources.
The CTSAs are funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources. Register by May 10 to attend the conference at www.aptrweb.org/prof_dev/ce_registration.html [disclaimer]. For more information, contact Donna Jo McCloskey at email@example.com.
Race for a cure with Team NIH
Meet at the Archives-Navy Memorial Metro station the morning of the race. Contact Maggie McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Trial recruiting volunteers