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Vol. LX, No. 1
January 11, 2008

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ICE Your Cell Phone

ICE (In Case of Emergency) is an initiative that turns cell phones into lifelines. By choosing to enter “ICE” contacts into your cell phone, you are telling emergency personnel whom you would like to contact and at what number. It can prove to be a vital source of information to emergency responders, coworkers, supervisors, paramedics, police and caregivers, according to the Office of Research Services. Be sure to inform people that they are your emergency contacts. It’s also helpful to review with them any conditions you may have, such as allergies. ICE could also be helpful to teens, who often carry cell phones but not wallets. To ICE your cell phone, open the phone’s address book, create a new contact, call it ICE (or ICE-1, -2, -3), enter the contact’s phone number (this may replace an existing contact) and affix an ICE sticker to the back of your cell phone. This serves as a visual alert that you have established a communication protocol. For more information, visit

NIDDK Web Site Features Health Information In Spanish

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has launched three new web site portals to feature Spanish-language health materials and resources from its information clearinghouses.

People looking for information about diabetes, digestive diseases, or kidney and urologic diseases in Spanish can go directly to the appropriate Spanish-language portal page, where they will find an A-to-Z list of topics and titles.

NIDDK, which has 40 diabetes-related publications, 10 publications about digestive diseases and 18 kidney and urologic publications in Spanish, will be adding more than 30 Spanish publications to the site, including 1-page fact sheets that are part of NIDDK’s Awareness and Prevention series.

NIDDK also has two full-time bilingual information specialists who respond to requests for Spanish-language health materials from the clearinghouses. In the past year, more than 17,500 Spanish publications were ordered through the clearinghouses. NIDDK responded to more than 700 information requests in Spanish during that time.

“With these new Spanish portals, we hope to make important health information available to more people who need it,” said Kathy Kranzfelder, director of the institute’s health information clearinghouses.

The Spanish portals are available at for diabetes information; for digestive diseases information; and for kidney and urologic diseases information.

Dr. Hugh A. Tilson

NIEHS Appoints Journal Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Hugh A. Tilson, a nationally recognized environmental health scientist, has been named editor-in-chief of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a journal published by NIEHS since 1972. He comes to NIEHS from the Environmental Protection Agency, where he served as national director of the Human Health Research Program. In the course of his career in environmental health science, he has worked as a lab director and investigator at EPA and NIEHS, edited several books and published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also served as the associate editor of two toxicology journals and on several editorial boards. EHP, a monthly journal, offers a worldwide forum for research and education in the environmental health sciences. Published online with free access and in print by subscription, it distributes editions in English and Chinese.

NCI Announces New Easy-to-Read Radiation Therapy Material

NCI is offering new easy-to-read radiation therapy education resources. Written for patients and health care providers, the series includes 11 radiation therapy sheets for patients in both English and Spanish, an audio CD for patients and a booklet for providers. The items provide straightforward information at a sixth-grade reading level or below to help patients understand how radiation therapy works and how to best manage its side effects. The patient-centered publications encourage individuals to fully participate in their care by providing personalized tips and key questions to foster discussion between patients and providers. To get these free resources, call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or visit

Dr. Oliver Smithies

2007 Nobel Laureate To Speak on Jan. 17

Dr. Oliver Smithies, one of 2007’s Nobel laureates in physiology or medicine, will speak at the NHLBI Biomedicine Lecture Series on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The title of his talk is “Two Mouse Tales.”

Smithies will look at the progression of ideas that occurred during the 20 years he has spent altering genes in mice, beginning with progress related to the control of blood pressure. He will emphasize the importance of experimentally controlling the level of expression of genes of interest and the usefulness of developing computer simulations to help understand the results of experiments. Smithies is the Excellence professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

He shared the Nobel prize with Drs. Mario R. Capecchi and Martin J. Evans. They won for developing methods to introduce specific gene modifications in mice. Today, this technique is widely used to understand the function of genes and to create mouse models of human diseases.

STEP Forum on Drug Discovery, Jan. 17

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present a Science in the Public Health forum on the topic, “Drug Discovery—Is Nature the Answer?” on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Natcher Conference Center, Rms. E1/E2.

The promise of modern chemistry to supply a pipeline of new drugs to combat life-threatening illnesses and improve public health has not met with its anticipated success. Drug-resistant infectious agents are on the rise. Effective therapies for cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and many other ailments have not kept pace with the needs of the public.

Re-enter nature as an inspiration and source for new drugs. Natural products have made a comeback in recent years as researchers turn to the rich diversity of marine and plant life. But what are the scientific, technical, ethical, legal and economic issues in advancing a natural product from discovery to the marketplace?

The STEP forum will highlight recent advances and challenges in exploring planet Earth for compounds that comprise nature’s unique and unparalleled molecular library.

Julie Passon

Former CC Patient Plays Santa

Julie Passon, who first came to the Clinical Center as a patient in 1998 with a rare cancer, returned to the outpatient pediatric clinic on Dec. 18 with almost 500 toys she collected in her Salisbury, Md., community. Passon had donated toys to the clinic toy box in the past, but lately her dream was to fill up the clinic waiting area with toys and invite every CC pediatric patient to pick a few. “As a teenage patient, it was hard to watch the little kids receiving treatment. I want to bring them smiles and joy and make them happy during the holidays,” she said.

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