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Director’s Album

Expressing My Gratitude for a Job Well Done

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On July 21, I also had the opportunity to express my gratitude to the outstanding team at NIH’s Central Utility Plant (CUP). The CUP provides steam, chilled water, compressed air, and approximately 30 percent of the electricity to NIH’s Bethesda campus, serving an excess of 12 million gross square feet of facilities. That makes CUP one of the largest and most technologically advanced district energy plants in the US. While there, I visited the CUP control room, shown above. Very impressive. Thanks once again to Farhad Memarzadeh and everyone at CUP for helping to keep the NIH campus operating smoothly during this difficult time. Credit: NIH


A Thumbs Up for New NIH Research Center

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I enjoyed touring the future home of the Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD), now under construction on the NIH campus. The tour was led by Mitch Taragin, the CARD Project Officer, and he and I gathered afterwards with some of the dedicated construction workers for this group photo and a big thumbs up. That’s me front and center in the mask and hardhat. The 24,000-square-foot building is expected to open its doors in Spring 2022. The new NIH center will accelerate the translation of scientific findings on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias into real-world applications. The center is supported by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). My visit took place on July 21, 2021. Credit: NIH

Zooming in on Global Health Research

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In past years, Roger Glass (top left), director of NIH’s Fogarty International Center (FIC), and I have taken an in-person group photo with the FIC fellows and scholars. This year, due to the international health and travel challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, a Zoom composite of some of the young researchers will have to do! I spoke to the group on the morning of July 13 as part of FIC’s week-long Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars. The program provides collaborative, mentored global health research training in low- and middle-income countries. Individual students, postdoctoral fellows, or faculty from the U.S. and abroad apply for a 12-month placement at a participating global institution. The meeting has brought together 122 fellows and scholars (US and international), seven Fulbright Fogarty Fellows, 16 alumni, and many others to the event. As you can see in my photo, I had to be out of town this year, and I spoke to everyone buckled up while returning to the Washington, D.C. area. But I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to share my vision for global health research and point to some of the many opportunities available in global health for young academics from the U.S. and other nations.

Welcoming Future Research Leaders to NIH

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It was my pleasure to join Marie Bernard, NIH chief officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (SWD), in welcoming everyone to the virtual 2021 NIH Future Research Leaders Conference on June 29. The two-day conference, sponsored by SWD, offered a career-development opportunity for about 30 talented early-stage scientists interested in pursuing careers within NIH’s on-campus Intramural Research Program. These future research leaders had a chance to hear from NIH leadership and tenure-track investigators about strategies for developing an independent research career at NIH. They also will now connect with a network of scientists from across many of NIH’s 27 institutes and centers, including in their scientific focus areas. As I stated in my remarks, scientific discovery and health advancement require not only exceptional talent but diverse perspectives. Welcome to the NIH family.

Taking Down COVID-19

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I recently spoke with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Drew McIntyre to take down COVID-19. I made the case to all WWE fans that the best way to get past the COVID-19 pandemic is for as many people as possible to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. I also told everyone listening about We Can Do This, four words to type into their browsers to access evidence-based answers to questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. We spoke virtually on May 13.


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