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Archive for May, 2014

NLM Announces Biomedical Informatics Course, in Partnership with Georgia Regents University!

The National Library of Medicine has announced that Georgia Regents University (GRU) will serve as the host organization for the NLM-sponsored biomedical informatics course. The NLM Biomedical Informatics Course, now entering its 22nd year, offers participants a week-long immersive experience in biomedical informatics taught by experts in the field. The course was previously held at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, with Cathy Norton, MLS, as the MBL principal investigator. NLM plans to take the skills shaped over the past two decades at MBL to its new colleagues at GRU. The first course organized at Georgia Regents University will be held September 14-20, 2014, followed by an additional session April 12-18, 2015. The course will be held at a conference center at the Brasstown Resort in Young Harris, GA, at no cost to participants.

Application to the course is open to anyone, but space is limited. Preference will be given to American applicants who demonstrate, through a brief application letter, that they have the significant need for an understanding of the informatics solutions that are available to address their biomedical research, practice and education challenges and that, through their official position, they are significant “change agents” who can influence the adoption of best practices in their own environment and expand the influence of the course to others through teaching or by example. The application deadline is July 7.

The course, co-directed by James J. Cimino, MD, Chief, Laboratory for Informatics Development at the National Library of Medicine and the NIH Clinical Center, and NLM Director Donald Lindberg, MD, will guide participants through topics including biomedical informatics methods, clinical informatics, big data and imaging, genomics, consumer health informatics, mathematical modeling, and telemedicine and telehealth. The co-principal investigators from GRU are Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, PhD, Professor and Director of Libraries, and Kathy J. Davies, MLS, Chair, Research and Education Services, Robert B. Greenblatt, MD Library.

May 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

feature1Check out the May issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Shedding Light on Health: Research Helps People and Pets
    Where would we be without our furry friends? Pet dogs and cats stand by us with love and loyalty, sharing our lives’ ups and downs. Our beloved pets can also share many of the same medical problems that we have, like asthma, diabetes, and even cancer. Doctors, veterinarians, and scientists work together to study diseases that affect both pets and people. The aim is to improve medical care for people as well as our companion animals.
  • Tick Talk: Block Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
    When warm weather arrives, you might get the urge to walk barefoot through the grass. But before you stroll through your lawn or head out on a hiking trail, you’ll want to protect yourself and your loved ones from ticks that often lurk in tall grass, thick brush, and wooded areas. Many ticks carry disease, so do what you can to keep ticks from taking a bite out of you.
  • Exercise Brings Bone Benefits that Last
    Building bone as a young adult can have benefits that last a lifetime, a new study showed. The research also confirmed that physical activity as we get older can help us maintain bone strength.
  • Paralyzed Men Regain Movement
    Four young men paralyzed below the chest because of spinal injuries regained some movement after receiving an experimental treatment. If confirmed in larger studies, this type of therapy may improve outcomes for people living with paralysis.
  • Featured Website: Mental Health Topics
    Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. This NIH site links to a wealth of information on mental health and disorders such as anxiety, autism, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Learn about treatment options, and link to clinical research studies related to mental health.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

MeSH on Demand Tool: An Easy Way to Identify Relevant MeSH Terms

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of MeSH on Demand, a new feature that uses the NLM Medical Text Indexer (MTI) to find MeSH terms.

Currently, the MeSH Browser allows for searches of MeSH terms, text-word searches of the Annotation and Scope Note, and searches of various fields for chemicals. These searches assume that users are familiar with MeSH terms and using the MeSH Browser. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find MeSH terms directly from your text such as an abstract or grant summary? MeSH on Demand has been developed in close collaboration among MeSH Section, NLM Index Section, and the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications to address this need.

Use MeSH on Demand to find MeSH terms relevant to your text up to 10,000 characters. One of the strengths of MeSH on Demand is its ease of use without any prior knowledge of the MeSH vocabulary and without any downloads. From the MeSH on Demand homepage, add your text, such as an abstract, into the box labeled “Text to be Processed.” Then, click the “Find MeSH Terms” button. Please read the Helpful Hints section of the homepage to improve your results.

For example, the abstract below contains the phrase “treatment-resistant depression.” The relevant MeSH Heading found for that concept is Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant. MeSH on Demand finds MeSH Headings, Publication Types, and Supplementary Concepts, but not Qualifiers (Subheadings). Select the green question mark button next to the MeSH term or the MeSH term itself to open a new window with the MeSH Browser for that MeSH term.

The MeSH on Demand results page

Please note the Disclaimer that these MeSH terms are machine generated by MTI and do not reflect any human review. While the results will be different from human-generated indexing, MeSH on Demand does find relevant MeSH terms that can help jump-start finding MeSH terms in your search area. NLM welcomes your feedback on MeSH on Demand and MTI. Please send comments and questions to NLM Customer Service with “MeSH on Demand” in the subject box. NLM also looks forward to seeing your ideas for other helpful tools to utilize the MeSH vocabulary and NLM resources more easily. Please contact NLM at meshsugg@nlm.nih.gov.

NLM Announces Addition of Mike Gorman Papers to Profiles in Science

In the summer of 1946, an Oklahoma newspaper editor sent a young reporter to complete a story on a state psychiatric hospital, where he found neglected, half-naked inmates, crowded together in filthy, dilapidated buildings, and fed on rotten food. He soon went back, taking along a photographer, and then he went to visit Oklahoma’s other state mental hospitals. His blistering series of newspaper articles about the institutions launched a grassroots reform movement: less than a year later, the state legislature voted huge budget increases for state hospitals, restructured the state hospital administration, and re-wrote the state’s commitment laws.

The young journalist was Mike Gorman (1913–1989). His work in Oklahoma earned him a Lasker Award in 1948, and changed the course of his career. Several decades later he would be called “the country’s greatest modern missionary for mental health.” Mike Gorman’s papers are now online at the National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Web site, an NLM digital project that provides online access to the archival collections of more than 30 Nobel Laureates and other leading innovators in scientific and medical fields. The presentation features correspondence, photographs, speeches and addresses given by Gorman, speeches he wrote for members of Congress and several U.S. Presidents, along with published articles and reports from the Gorman collection. Visitors to the site can view his first series of articles for the Daily Oklahoman, drafts of speeches Gorman wrote for Presidents Truman and Kennedy, and the public service announcements issued by the Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Gorman’s Oklahoma experience taught him that newspaper exposés alone would not produce substantive changes. Public attention to social problems faded quickly, and entrenched social and political practices did not change without constant agitating from outside. Gorman would spend the rest of his life providing that agitation: gathering the facts about mental illness and other diseases; speaking to governors, legislators, professional groups, and the public; testifying to Congressional appropriations committees; and writing books and articles.

Gorman came to Washington, D.C. in 1951 to be a member of President Truman’s Commission on the Health Needs of the Nation, and in 1953 became executive director of the National Committee Against Mental Illness, a lobbying and advocacy organization founded by philanthropist and health care activist Mary Lasker. In that post, he became perhaps America’s best known lobbyist and publicist in the crusade for psychiatric hospital reform and the community mental health center movement. Gorman played a key role in shaping many of the social programs of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, including the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963. During the 1970s and 1980s he also directed two other advocacy groups, Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure, which helped coordinate a highly successful national hypertension education and screening program, and the National Initiative for Glaucoma Control.

NLM Funding Opportunity: Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has reissued the Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), soliciting resource grant applications for projects that will bring useful, usable health information to health disparity populations and the health care providers who care for those populations. Access to useful, usable, understandable health information is an important factor during health decisions. Proposed projects should exploit the capabilities of computer and information technology and health sciences libraries to bring health-related information to consumers and their health care providers. Preference will be given to applications that show strong involvement of health science libraries. Because this funding opportunity focuses on providing health information to health disparity populations, institutions with demonstrated commitment to the needs of health disparity communities (including Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other institutions in rural and socially disadvantaged areas) are encouraged to apply.

Applicants may request up to $100,000 per year in direct costs for 1 – 3 years. The amount requested need not be the same in each year for a multiple year project. This grant program does not cover facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, also called overhead or indirect costs. All applicants are required to submit a Research & Related (non-modular) Budget component. This one-time announcement has a single application deadline. Letters of intent are due by June 29, 2014, and the application submission deadline is July 29, 2014. Only electronic applications are accepted. NLM intends to commit $500,000 to fund up to five awards. Help on preparing a G08 application using the SF424 (R&R) Application forms package is availalbe on NLM’s Extramural Programs web site. Questions about this funding opportunity may be directed to NLM program officer Dr. Alan VanBiervliet.