Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
November 2013 marks 25 years that the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has been providing access to biomedical and genomic information to advance science and health. Established in 1988 as a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCBI has grown into a leading source for public biomedical databases, software tools for analyzing molecular and genomic data, and research in computational biology. NCBI’s resources rank among the most heavily used government web sites in the United States, with approximately 3 million users every day.
In recognition of NCBI’s achievements, an awards and recognition program was held November 1 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. At that event Tony Hey, PhD, Vice President of Microsoft Research, presented NCBI Director David Lipman, MD, with the Jim Gray eScience Award. Named for Jim Gray, a technical fellow for Microsoft Research and an A.M. Turing Award winner who disappeared at sea in 2007, the annual award recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of data-intensive computing and made “science easier for scientists,” according to Microsoft.
Gray was very familiar with the work of NCBI. He was a member of the NLM Board of Regents in 2006 and met a number of times with Dr. Lipman, NCBI Information Engineering Branch Chief Jim Ostell, PhD, and other staff to discuss issues such as organization of and access to biomedical literature and data. His interest in NCBI’s work is evidenced by his final lecture, in January 2007, in which he highlighted the importance of NCBI/NLM biomedical literature databases like PubMed and PubMed Central, genomic databases such as GenBank, and NCBI’s Entrez system for searching across these and many other databases. An edited version of Gray’s lecture can be read in The Fourth Paradigm, available on Microsoft Research’s web site.
The NCBI awards program also featured presentations by Sir Richard Roberts, PhD, chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs, who provided the keynote address, entitled “A personal recollection of GenBank and NCBI.” NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, recounted the planning process that led to the formation of NCBI, and NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research Michael M. Gottesman, MD, provided introductory remarks for the awards ceremony. Dr. Lipman closed the event by recognizing the dedicated and hard-working staff of NCBI who have enabled the progress that has transpired over the last 25 years.
Registration is now available for the full-day workshop, Teaching Research Data Management with the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum, that will be held on Friday, November 8, at the Beechwood Hotel, 367 Plantation St., Worcester, MA. This is a “train the trainer” class, intended for librarians who will be teaching best practices in research data management to science, health science, and/or engineering students and faculty. During the workshop, Elaine Martin, Andrew Creamer, and Donna Kafel will be demonstrating the components of the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum and discussing ways that the curriculum materials can be used and customized.
Registrants for the workshop must attend a prerequisite webinar, Best Practices for Teaching Research Data Management and Consulting on Data Management Plans in New England, that will be held on Thursday, October 31, from 9-10 AM PDT. The webinar will be archived so that anyone unable to attend the live session may view it prior to the November 8 class. The number of attendees for the in-person workshop will be limited to 40. Registration for the workshop is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The fee for the workshop is $35 (no refunds will be issued). The webinar is free, but registration is required to attend the live session on 10/31.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to be a part of a new exhibition on view until November 23, 2013, at The Grolier Club in New York City. Designed and curated to interest a wide audience, Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement opens a window onto the stories behind the careers and accomplishments of women in science since the mid-seventeenth century. The exhibition will focus on the women from viewpoints such as educational opportunities or lack thereof, career choice issues, gender discrimination, role models, and hidden factors that influenced recognition or lack of recognition. Events planned in conjunction with the exhibition will include invited lectures, lectures by the Curators, and opportunities for mentored visits. There will be a catalogue including invited essays.
Established in 1884, the Grolier Club is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. The Club is named after Jean Grolier, the French Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends. The Grolier Club’s objective is to foster appreciation for books and prints, their art, history, production, and commerce. As part of this mission the Grolier Club maintains a library, mounts exhibitions, publishes books, and hosts lectures and symposia. In its 125-year history the Club has organized more than five hundred such exhibitions on topics ranging from Blake to Kipling, from chess to murder mysteries, from Japanese prints to Art Nouveau posters. There are four shows a year in the Club’s main ground floor gallery, all open to the public free of charge.
Featured in the Grolier Club’s Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement are three items from NLM’s collections, two works by Louise Bourgeois Boursier; Observations diverses, sur la sterilité, perte de fruict, foecondité, accouchements, et maladies des femmes, et enfants nouveaux naiz (1617) and The Compleat midwife’s practice enlarged (1663), and Recherches quantitatives sur la marche du processus de différenciation des neurones dans les ganglions spinaux de l’embryon de Poulet, (1943), co-authored by Rita Levi-Montalcini and her husband Giuseppe Levi. Boursier’s Observations and Compleat midwife’s practice are, respectively, the French original and an English translation (both 17th century) of the first extensive textbook on midwifery written by a woman. Mme. Bourgeois Boursier (1563–1636) was midwife to Marie de Medicis, wife of Henry IV, King of France, and delivered six children for the queen, all of whom survived to adulthood, including one future king of France, two queens (England and Spain), two dukes and a duchess. Her book was reprinted many times and widely translated.
Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909–2012) won the Nobel Prize in 1986 for her work in neurology, specifically working on the growth of nerve fibers. As a Jew in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s, she worked under the constant threat of arrest and imprisonment by the Fascist regimes that controlled her home country. Nevertheless, she continued to work in a makeshift lab in her kitchen in Turin, measuring nerve development in chicken embryos. Levi-Montalcini’s Recherches quantitatives, a seminal article which summarizes her work, could not be published in Italy, and somehow made it into print in Liege instead. Levi-Montalcini never left Italy during the war, although she and her family fled south to Florence and she eventually worked as a physician with the Allied forces. In 1946, she emigrated to the United States, where she continued her research at Washington University and then jointly in Rome at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. She remained active in both medicine and politics until her death in 2012, at the age of 103.
The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Medical Text Indexer is being used as one of the baselines for the international BioASQ challenge. The Medical Text Indexer (MTI), a system for producing indexing recommendations, assists in the indexing process at NLM. The BioASQ challenge is a series of challenges on biomedical semantic indexing and question answering, with the aim of advancing the state of the art accessibility for researchers and clinicians to biomedical text. The MTI indexing results are providing one of the baselines used in the “Large-scale online biomedical semantic indexing” part of the challenge, which is designed to parallel the human indexing currently being done at NLM. Alan R. Aronson, PhD, Principal Investigator for the MTI project, also will be delivering an invited talk on Indexing The Biomedical Literature In A Time Of Increased Demand And Limited Resources at the BioASQ Workshop in September. Dr. Aronson is a Principal Investigator at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an Intramural Research Division of the National Library of Medicine.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced its next initiative as part of its ongoing partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Working with NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), the NLM will be a part of An Epidemiology of Information: New Methods for Interpreting Disease and Data, an interdisciplinary symposium exploring new methods for large-scale data analysis of epidemic disease.
Scheduled to take place at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, VA, on October 17, 2013, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, “An Epidemiology of Information” will be a unique public forum through which policy makers, public health experts, and scholars can address pressing questions about how new methods of analyzing large-scale datasets can inform research and policy approaches to epidemic disease. Panelists will consider what these new methods suggest for contemporary infodemiology and epidemic intelligence, as well as the implications of data mining as a disease surveillance mechanism, and how new forms of reporting and public health surveillance affect public health policy. The symposium will also explore how these new methods can inform research on the 1918 influenza pandemic, and help to answer lingering questions about the spread of the disease, its pathogenicity, the unusual mortality rates, or the effectiveness of public health responses.
Featured speakers will include Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger, Chief, Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. David Morens, Senior Advisor to the Director, NIAID, whose research in data analysis and historical epidemiology has influenced the approaches being adopted and adapted by digital humanities scholars working in the history of medicine. “An Epidemiology of Information” is made possible in part from support received by Virginia Tech through the international Digging into Data Challenge competition sponsored by NEH. Funding for Virginia Tech’s Canadian partner, the Center for E-Health Initiatives of the University of Toronto, comes from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
The National Library of Medicine has initiated an outreach effort to the Latino community for the federal Web site on AIDS, infoSIDA, a free, online Spanish-language resource for HIV/AIDS information regarding treatment, prevention, and research findings. It is a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and includes authoritative content from the following HHS agencies; the National Institutes of Health, including NLM; the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This Spanish-language Web site is designed to provide health information resources to the Latino community in an easy-to-use format, utilizing culturally appropriate and relevant language.
Today in America, according to the CDC, approximately one in 50 Latinos will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. The rate of new HIV infections among Latino men is almost three times that of white men (39.9 vs. 15.9 per 100,000), and the rate among Latinas is more than four times that of white women (11.8 vs. 2.6 per 100,000). In 2009, Hispanics/Latinos represented 16% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 20% of new HIV infections. Statistics like these and a need to reach vulnerable populations were a driving force in NLM’s recognition of the need to speak directly to Latinos on the issue of HIV/AIDS, in a culturally relevant manner.
NLM will be promoting the infoSIDA Web site through a multi-platform media outreach effort that includes two new radio public service announcements that will air on Spanish media outlets nationwide. In addition, Ms. Fedora Braverman, a librarian with the NLM Public Services Division, will take part in a June 1st broadcast of “Bienvenidos a América,” discussing infoSIDA and other Spanish-language consumer resources from NLM. Bienvenidos a América (BAA) is a weekly call-in radio show focused on providing Spanish preferred Latinos with information and resources specific to immigration issues. Since this program’s audience is a key component in determining the success of this campaign, NLM will utilize this program, which airs on 111 Spanish radio stations nationwide. In addition to being on the air, the NLM specific segment on BAA will be streamed and made available online. The online resources of infoSIDA will also be publicized and made available via NLM’s social media outlets. Twitter users are invited to follow or join the conversation by using the hash tag #infoSIDA2013.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will join with other health data leaders and innovators for the fourth annual Health Datapalooza. The unique event will be held June 3-4, 2013, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Health Datapalooza IV highlights new, innovative, and effective ways health data is being used by companies, startups, academics, government agencies, and individuals. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend. The event is organized by a consortium of private sector, non-profit and government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NLM has participated in the event every year.
As the world’s largest medical library, NLM has made its electronic data freely available for decades, so that others can use it to develop new products and services. Additionally, NLM provides application programming interfaces (APIs) so that external products and services, such as electronic health records, can easily access its data. NLM experts will be in the Health Datapalooza exhibit hall (Booth 12), to explain how developers can utilize the variety of available NLM data, including medical literature; consumer health information; clinical trials; medical terminology; and drugs. NLM will also participate in the “Datalab” breakout session, featuring federal government data experts.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to be included in a new exhibition, which opened May 15 and runs through August 18, 2013, at The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for medieval art and architecture in New York City. Search for the Unicorn: An Exhibition in Honor of The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary places the institution’s famous Unicorn Tapestries within the larger context of medieval and Renaissance art, revealing the mythical animal’s persistent inspirational role in artistic imagination over the centuries and in the emerging history of natural science.
Given by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in time for the opening of The Cloisters in 1938, the Unicorn Tapestries are its best-known masterpieces; yet, 75 years later, their history and meaning remain elusive. They have been seen both as complicated metaphors for Christ and as emblems of matrimony, and they are beloved as quaint indications of medieval notions about the natural world. This exhibition of some 40 works of art drawn from the collections of the Metropolitan, sister institutions, and private collections invites audiences to see the Unicorn Tapestries anew, as the finest expression of a subject widely treated across cultures, and in both European art and science.
Featured in Search for the Unicorn are two items from the NLM’s historical collections, Pierre Pomet’s Histoire générale des drogues (1694) and al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation (ca. 1700). Wonders of Creation was compiled originally in the middle 1200s and is considered one of the most important natural history texts of the medieval Islamic world. It is featured in NLM’s Turning the Pages program. Pomet’s Histoire générale des drogues is primarily a historical examination and description of drugs and medicines, and examines unicorns because of the magical healing properties attributed to their horns.
The NLM exhibit booth at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Boston featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. The presentation recordings are captioned and accessible from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources page. The presentations include:
Note: To listen to the voice recordings and view the captions you may need the latest version of Flash® Player (download for free from the Adobe Web site). To zoom in to detailed screens, use the scroll button. For more information, go to the NLM Technical Bulletin page.
The inaugural Science Boot Camp for Librarians (West) will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder June 19-21, 2013. Science Boot Camps for Librarians are immersive, 2 1/2 day events featuring educational presentations delivered by scientists. Based on the successful annual New England Science Boot Camp in Massachusetts, the Western version follows a similar format and will cover three science topics; Bioinformatics, Environmental Science & GIS, and Physics. In addition, three librarians will teach a Data Management Workshop. There will be interesting keynote speakers, a panel on women in science, and plenty of time to network with fellow “campers!”
The cost for (dorm) lodging, meals, and instructional content is $250.00. Registration opens April 15, 2013. Target audiences include science librarians, medical librarians, data management specialists, and LIS students. For further information on the program, travel to Boulder, and upcoming registration, visit the Science Boot Camp West 2013 web site. You can also follow Twitter feed #BootCampWest13! Primary sponsors of the event are the Greater Western Library Alliance and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region. Additional sponsors are listed on the web site.