Science chief at NIH drug abuse institute resigned after sexual misconduct probe

In August, Antonello Bonci, scientific director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), resigned, and the agency’s director told employees in an email that Bonci would be running an addiction institute in Florida. Science has learned that Bonci’s departure followed an investigation spurred by an internal complaint, which alleged that he sexually targeted a trainee and later directed resources to another trainee with whom he was in an intimate relationship. Sources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which NIDA is part of, said they were disturbed by NIDA’s…

Read More

NIH scientists try to crack the brain’s memory codes

In a pair of studies, scientists at the National Institutes of Health explored how the human brain stores and retrieves memories. One study suggests that the brain etches each memory into unique firing patterns of individual neurons. Meanwhile, the second study suggests that the brain replays memories faster than they are stored.The studies were led by Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon-researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Persons with drug resistant epilepsy in protocols studying surgical resection of their seizure focus at the NIH’s…

Read More

Hair analysis may help diagnose Cushing Syndrome, NIH researchers report

Analyzing a hair sample may help with the diagnosis of Cushing Syndrome, a rare and potentially fatal disorder in which the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Diagnosing Cushing Syndrome is often difficult and time-consuming, requiring 24 hours to analyze blood and urine tests, brain imaging tests, and tissue samples from sinuses at the base of the skull. The researchers found that measuring cortisol levels in hair samples tracked closely with standard techniques for diagnosing Cushing Syndrome. “Our results are encouraging,”…

Read More

NIH initiates pilot grant program for innovative neurological research

The first 30 recipients of the new R35 Research Program Award (RPA), a pilot program designed to encourage creative research by enhancing funding stability, have been announced by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. NINDS-supported investigators who secure an RPA will have their research funded for a period of five years, with the potential to have that funding extended for up to an additional three years. This funding initiative was developed to provide support for a grantee’s overall research program,…

Read More

NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2016

This year, the world marked the 35th anniversary of the first published reports of what would come to be known as HIV/AIDS. This disease has wrought enormous suffering and devastation and caused more than 35 million deaths. Yet today, thanks to remarkable achievements in biomedical science and public health, we have the tools to build a better future for individuals living with HIV and for those at risk of infection. We are hopeful that new approaches currently under exploration could expedite the end of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The greatest scientific…

Read More

NIH scientists uncover genetic explanation for frustrating syndrome

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified a genetic explanation for a syndrome characterized by multiple frustrating and difficult-to-treat symptoms, including dizziness and lightheadedness, skin flushing and itching, gastrointestinal complaints, chronic pain, and bone and joint problems. Some people who experience these diverse symptoms have elevated levels of tryptase — a protein in the blood often associated with allergic reactions. Multiple copies of the alpha tryptase gene drive these tryptase elevations and may contribute to the symptoms, according to a new study led by investigators at NIH’s National…

Read More