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Supporting First Lady’s “Be Best” Campaign

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Francis Collins and friends in the White House Rose Garden

It was a beautiful afternoon to support First Lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” campaign on May 7, 2018 at an event held in the White House Rose Garden. The “Be Best” campaign promotes healthy living, using social media in positive ways, and reducing opioid abuse. In this photo (from left to right) are: Fern Jennifer Stone; the chief development and communications officer for the Children’s Inn at NIH; Francis Collins; Jennie Lucca, chief executive officer of the Children’s Inn; Alex Azar, secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; Larry Tabak, NIH deputy director; and Laura King, senior director of Volunteers and Community Outreach at the Children’s Inn.
Courtesy of @SecAzar


Print-and-Fold Origami Microscope for 50 cents

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Using the Foldscope

Caption: Here I am checking out the Foldscope at the White House Maker Faire on June 18. Very cool!
Credit: Manu Prakash, Stanford

When Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash traveled to a mosquito-infested rainforest in Thailand a couple of years ago, he visited a clinic with a sophisticated, $100,000 microscope that sat unused in a locked room. It was then Prakash realized that what global health workers really need is an ultra-low cost, simple-to-use, portable microscope that could be deployed in the field to diagnose disease—and he took it upon himself to develop one!

The result is the Foldscope, a ‘use and throwaway’ microscope that Prakash demonstrated last week at the first-ever Maker Faire at the White House. While I saw many amazing inventions and met many incredible inventors at this event, I came away particularly impressed by the practicality of this device and the ingenuity of its maker.


Welcoming the BRAIN Initiative

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Introducing the President at the BRAIN Initiative event in the East Room of the White House (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Introducing the President at the BRAIN Initiative event in the East Room of the White House
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

What an exciting day for science and innovation in the United States! I was thrilled to be present at the White House this morning, as President Barack Obama announced a pioneering project to explore the complex workings of the human brain: the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. And I’m proud to report that NIH-supported scientists will be among those at the forefront of this ambitious endeavor.

I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage each of you—whether you’re a researcher, health professional, patient, or young person interested in science—to embrace the
BRAIN Initiative. Not only will this landmark effort continue our nation’s strong tradition of scientific innovation, it will advance NIH’s mission of turning scientific discoveries into better health for all.

For more details on the BRAIN Initiative, check out what DARPA chief Arati Prabhakar and I have to say on WhiteHouse.gov blog.