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NIH Record  
Vol. LX, No. 21
October 17, 2008
Commissioned Corps NIH’ers Help Hurricane Victims
Roberts Emcees NIH CFC Kickoff Oct. 2
AARP Says NIH Among Best Places for Workers Age 50+
Nobel Laureate Kornberg To Give Stetten Lecture, Oct. 29
CIT Computer Training Celebrates 40 Years
Whitley To Deliver Straus Memorial Lecture on Infectious Diseases
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‘Maximum Freedom, Minimum Hassle’
Pioneer, New Innovator Awards Announced
  NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni
  NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni

Calling it “one of the best days of the year for me,” NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni announced winners of the 2008 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and New Innovator Awards on Sept. 22. This year, 16 scientists—the largest cohort ever—won Pioneer awards, which Zerhouni defined as “loose-guide research, which extends the boundaries of knowledge.” Another 31 scientists won New Innovator Awards, for a total of 47 honorees and an NIH funding commitment of some $138 million over 5 years.

The Pioneer Awards, this year supported by nine institutes and centers, “provide ample resources and total freedom,” said Zerhouni. “You don’t have to follow the script written in your application—you can follow your instincts. This award offers the maximum freedom and the minimum hassle.”

Challenge Relay Celebrates Its 25th Run
  Never know who’ll compete in the Challenge Relay. Dr. David Robinson (l) is chased by Buddy the Elf.
  Never know who’ll compete in the Challenge Relay. Dr. David Robinson (l) is chased by Buddy the Elf.

On May 24, 1978, at approximately high noon, the “NIMH Shrinks” took 11 minutes and 59 seconds to race around Bldg. 1 and into NIH lore as the first team to finish the inaugural Institute Challenge Relay. More than 30 years and several thousand miles later, the relay marked its 25th run on Sept. 18, 2008.

“It was then, and is still today, held to encourage friendly competition,” explains an early NIH Health’s Angels Jogging Club member, Jerry Moore. Now an NIH regulations officer in the Office of Management Assessment, he helped organize the first race.