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General Schedule of Events

Welcome! The 2019 Research Festival will be held all day, one day, on Wednesday, September 11. Our format is a little different this year compared to years past. There will be three plenary session, one "lightning round" of three-minute talks, and one midday poster session featuring posters from selected FARE award winners and tenure-track investigators. As such, we will not have a call for abstracts this year.

We also will host the Technical Sales Association (TSA) Research Festival Exhibit Tent Show on September 12 and 13. Vendors wishing to participate can register at To view a list of confirmed exhibit booths please visit: (Note: external links.)

Schedule of Events

9/11 Anniversary Observance and Moment of Silence
Masur Auditorium, NIH Building 10
8:46 a.m.

On September 11, 2019, Americans will pause to remember the September 11 attacks 18 years ago in which a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 others in New York (World Trade Towers), Pennsylvania (Stonycreek Township near Shanksville), and Virginia (the Pentagon). We will observe a moment of silence in the Masur Auditorium at 8:46 a.m., the time on September 11, 2001, when hijackers deliberately crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower, 1 World Trade Center.


Plenary Session I. Celebrating NIH IRP Contributions to Curing Metabolic Diseases
Moderator: John Gallin, M.D., NIH Clinical Center Scientific Director
Masur Auditorium, NIH Building 10
9:00–10:50 a.m. (four 20-minute talks)

Metabolism comprises the chemical processes that sustain life, from the conversion of food to energy, to the assembly of proteins and all key molecules, to the elimination of waste products. Metabolic diseases disrupt these core bodily functions, setting forth a cascade of debilitating symptoms and ultimately death if not successfully managed. The labs and clinics of the NIH IRP have been at the forefront of the identification and treatment of metabolic diseases.

For this first plenary session of the 2019 NIH Research Festival, we open with Nobel and Lasker laurate and NIH alumnus Ferid Murad, who discovered how nitric oxide relaxes smooth muscle by elevating intracellular cyclic GMP, a breakthrough for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Marston Linehan will then recap how, over the course of three decades, his laboratory has defined kidney cancer as a metabolic disease. Through the identification of genes for common forms of kidney cancer and the description of their pathways, Marston has developed treatments that have resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with type 1 and type 2 papillary kidney cancer. Next, Josephine Egan will summarize her group's remarkable progress in identifying therapeutic targets for treating Type II diabetes mellitus. Her lab has identified the GLP-1 receptor as a promising target for the development of insulinotropic agents including the GLP-1 receptor ligand exendin-4 that may provide a new approach for the treatment of diabetes. Lastly, Kevin Hall will pull us back to view the multi-organ metabolic disease that we call obesity. Well known for his study of contestants on the reality television program "The Biggest Loser," Kevin and his lab have shown themselves to be the biggest winners in understanding why it is so hard to maintain a healthy weight.

Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D.
George Washington University 
Discovery of Nitric Oxide and Cyclic GMP in Cell Signaling and Drug Development

Marston Linehan, M.D.
Chief, NCI Urologic Oncology Branch
Targeting the Genetic and Metabolic Basis of Kidney Cancer 

Josephine Egan, M.D.
NIA Clinical Director
Chief, NIA Diabetes Section
From Insulin to Incretins 

Kevin Hall, Ph.D.
Chief, NIDDK Integrative Physiology Section
What’s Most Important for Weight Control: Diet Carbs, Calories, or Quality?


Data Blitz: Lightning Round
Masur Auditorium, NIH Building 10
11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. (~20 three-minute talks)

Prepare to be zapped. About two dozen postdoctoral FARE award winners will provide three-minute summaries of their research in rapid succession. When the smoke clears, you will have a new perspective on the broad and diverse NIH research portfolio.


The 2019 NIH Research Festival Poster Session
FAES Terrace, NIH Building 10
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

More than 100 scientific posters will be on display in the FAES Terrace of Building 10. The 2019 NIH Research Festival Poster Session will feature select postdoctoral FARE award winners and tenure-track investigators representing each NIH institute and center with an intramural program — a hodgepodge of NIH research excellence. Some of your culinarily talented SDs will also be competing in a bakeoff/cookoff, so come try their treats and vote for your favorites. Other light refreshments will be served to make the event all the more delicious.


NIH Green Labs Fair
South Lobby, NIH Building 10
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Come join your colleagues for the NIH Green Labs Fair in the Building 10 South Lobby. That's the lobby down from the NIH Library, on the older side of Building 10. The Green Labs Fair features a variety of information on green products, green practices and environmental initiatives that you can use to make your lab green. Learn about green products directly from their vendors, discover green practices from the lab staff that actually use them, and inquire about NIH initiatives with the staff that run them. All employees, contractors and visitors are invited.


Special Exhibits on Intramural Resources
Central Corridor, NIH Building 10
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

On the way to and from the Poster Session and Green Labs Fair, stop by the information tables dotted along the central corridor of Building 10. Tables will be staffed from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. with your colleagues from CIT, the NIH Collaborative Research Exchange (CREx), the National Library of Medicine, the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum, and more. Other activities such as virtual reality demos will take place in the NIH Library.


12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

There will be an army of food trucks in Parking Lot 10H near the South Lobby with set meals at a small price. We will have some outside seating, as well.


Plenary Session II. Celebrating NIH Efforts to Combat Physical and Emotional Pain
Moderator: Amy Newman, Ph.D., NIDA Acting Scientific Director
Masur Auditorium, NIH Building 10
2:00–3:00 p.m. (four 12-minute talks)

Pain, both physical and emotional, so often intertwined, has had a crippling effect on the health of Americans, representing the primary cause for the decline in U.S. life expectancy over the last three recorded years (2015–2018). One well-known driver has been the opioid epidemic, leading to an increase in drug overdoses and death. The NIH IRP always has risen to the challenge to confront complex public health emergencies, such as HIV–AIDS and nutritional deficiencies, and pain is no exception. This plenary session will feature four stellar intramural researchers who have made extraordinary strides in treating physical and psychological pain, including non-opioid-based treatments.

Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D.
Chief, NIMH Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch 
Antidepressant Drug Discovery: Taking the Road Less Traveled

Lauren Atlas, Ph.D.
Investigator, NCCIH Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain
How Psychological Factors Influence Responses to Pain and Opioid Analgesics

George Koob, Ph.D.
NIAAA Director
Chief, NIDA Neurobiology of Addiction Section
Opioid Addiction: “The Gain in the Brain Is in the Pain”

Andrew Mannes, M.D.
Chief, Clinical Center Department of Perioperative Medicine
Non-opioid Therapy for Treating Severe, Refractory Cancer Pain


Plenary Session III. Celebrating Cutting Edge Technologies at the IRP
Moderator: Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., NIBIB Director
Masur Auditorium, NIH Building 10
3:00–4:00 p.m. (four 12-minute talks)

Did you know the toothbrush was invented at the NIH? Ok, we made that one up. But NIH scientists and engineers have developed hundreds of instruments and technologies that have become mainstays in research labs and clinics, such as Matrigel cell-culture substrate, co-invented by Hynda Kleinman, and the myriad advances in positron emission tomography pioneered by Louis Sokoloff. This third and final plenary of the 2019 NIH Research Festival will highlight four significant technological advances whose reverberations already are being felt in the scientific research community.

Adam Phillippy, Ph.D.
Head, NHGRI Genome Informatics Section
Can Nanopore Sequencing Finally Finish the Human Genome? 

Elizabeth Kang, M.D.
Head, Hematotherapeutics Unit, Genetic Immunotherapy Section, LCIM, NIAID
Genetically Modified Cells for Chronic Granulomatous Disease: Moving Forward the Clinical Benefit

Hari Shroff, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, NIBIB Section on High Resolution Optical Imaging
Faster, Sharper, Deeper, Longer: New Optical and Computational Techniques for Use in Biomedical Imaging

Hannah Valantine, M.D.
Senior Investigator, NHLBI Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics
The Liquid Biopsy: Cell-Free DNA for Early Detection of Organ Rejection


Award Ceremony & Reception
South Lobby, NIH Building 10
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (or until the band gets blisters)

Please join us for an informal award ceremony and reception featuring food (including microbial fermentations) and music. We will salute all FARE awardees, not all of whom presented at the 2019 Research Festival, as well as the winner of the Scientific Director's cooking/baking competition. Then the NIH Director's band, aka “ARRA” (Affordable Rock'n' Roll Act) take over under the canopy of the South Lobby. All are welcome.

Wait, there's more...

Please visit the Technical Sales Association (TSA) Research Festival Exhibit Tent Show on September 12 and 13 in the morning and early afternoon. This is in Parking Lot 10H. You, uh, can't miss it. A large group of exhibitors will display state-of-the-art equipment supplies and services by leading regional and national biomedical research suppliers. Visit early to get all the best goodies.