We’re looking for a program officer (or “health scientist administrator”) to oversee grants and other activities related to social and behavior modeling—a research area that complements NIGMS-supported efforts to understand complex systems, including disease spread among human populations and dynamics in model organism communities.
The job is within the NIGMS Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. The center supports research and training programs that address the computational needs of today’s biomedical research, serving critical roles across NIGMS as well as NIH.
Please see the job announcement for more details and forward this information to anyone who might be interested in this position. Individual inquiries can be sent to me.
The listing closes November 13, 2009.
The annual Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and celebrates Hispanic heritage and culture. The end of this year’s observation coincided with the opening ceremony of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference, which is supported by NIGMS.
The SACNAS conference highlights the scientific contributions of Hispanics and Native Americans and fosters the development of new scientists. This year’s more than 2,500 attendees, including more than 1,000 undergraduate students, made it the largest SACNAS conference to date. The impressive talents and skills of the “budding” scientists were evident not only in their poster and oral presentations, but also in their conversations with established researchers, educators and mentors.
During the conference, SACNAS honored the significant roles of three NIGMS grantees by giving them its highest awards. Jorge Gardea-Torresdey received the 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award, Frank T. Bayliss received the 2009 Distinguished Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award and Maria Fatima Lima received the 2009 Distinguished Professional Mentor Award.
Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States, and they are contributing to all aspects of the fabric and economy of this country. Although there are a number of very prominent Hispanic scientists, there is still a dearth of Hispanics pursuing Ph.D. degrees and research careers. Through its conference and other activities, SACNAS is contributing to NIGMS efforts to encourage and support students who are interested in science, including those from underrepresented groups.
Last month, Jeremy Berg announced that NIGMS is holding a two-day workshop for postdoctoral fellows who will soon transition to their first independent positions. The event will take place on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, March 11-12, 2010, and the deadline for applications is just a few weeks away (November 2). While we received a strong response, we still have some space available.
As chair of the NIGMS committee organizing this special workshop, I want to emphasize what a great opportunity it will be for transitioning postdocs, especially ones from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Since NIGMS has a strong interest in encouraging a diverse scientific workforce, we are excited to host a workshop that will help a wide range of transitioning postdocs.
The workshop will provide practical advice about applying and interviewing for jobs, negotiating start-up packages, finding a mentor, establishing a lab, forming collaborations, getting tenure, balancing research with other commitments and much more. The agenda features a fabulous lineup of speakers, including many well-established academic scientists, who will share their experiences and offer tips.
Please consider applying or forwarding this information to eligible postdocs in your lab.
Human embryonic stem cell research is an area of special interest to NIGMS. It represents a unique opportunity to explore the most fundamental mechanisms of biology and development while providing a foundation for future clinical applications. NIGMS’s support of basic research in embryonic stem cell biology is actually greater than that of any other component of NIH.
As part of our continuing commitment to this research area, we hosted our third workshop that brought together 54 NIGMS grantees working on human embryonic stem cells. Each workshop helps them exchange ideas and pursue collaborations while informing us about their progress and challenges.
The research presented during the talks and poster session at this year’s meeting covered a broad array of topics, reflecting the most up-to-date (and unpublished) work from labs across the country. It was wonderful to see how much progress has been made since the previous workshop two years ago! Sessions focused specifically on advances that help us understand how cells self-renew, how and when differentiation occurs and what directs cell fates. Another session discussed technological developments, such as large-scale culture techniques and the application of cutting-edge approaches in proteomics, glycoproteomics and global mapping of chromosomal interactions. Grantees also shared their latest progress on induced pluripotent stem cells and genetic reprogramming.
After listening to the presentations, it became clear to me that one of the pivotal directions for future stem cell research is going to be epigenetics, especially as it relates to regulating pluripotency, directing cell fate and inducing genetic reprogramming. Several talks, for instance, showed how two different but genetically similar human embryonic stem cell lines give rise to distinct cell types under the same conditions, presumably due to pre-existing epigenetic marks.
Since the last meeting in 2007, we’ve seen the remarkable development of human induced pluripotent stem cells. But as Jamie Thomson suggested in the closing session, we won’t be able to decipher critical differences between these cells and human embryonic stem cells until we really understand the range of variability in both types of cells. Given the accelerating pace of progress, I expect that future research will generate many new insights and perhaps some surprises that we’ll hear about in the next two years.
Two major recommendations of the NIH Enhancing Peer Review Initiative were to shorten grant applications and restructure their content. These changes will affect applications due on or after January 25, 2010.
Here’s a brief overview of the changes and their implementation. Be sure to follow the links for other details and important information.
New Application Structure and Length
These changes affect ALL applications (new, renewal, resubmission and revision). Exceptions will be considered only for AIDS applications from members of review committees. Specifics vary with the type of application (research, training, resource, etc.). For more, see:
- When submitting an application due on or after January 25, you must download the new application forms. You may sign up to be notified when new application packages become available, which will be in December.
- Applications submitted early must follow the instructions for the actual due date (e.g., applications submitted on January 24 for the February 5 R01 due date must use the new forms).
- You can begin working on your applications now and paste the text into the appropriate form when it’s available.
- NIH will not accept any applications using any part of the old forms, including biosketches.
- All existing Funding Opportunity Announcements (both electronic and paper) will be revised to incorporate these changes and will be reissued by December 2009.
- Parent announcements will be reissued and have new Funding Opportunity Announcement numbers.
If you have specific questions, please contact the NIH Grants Information Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.