Monthly Archives: August 2014

Breaking Bad

I never took the opportunity to watch the popular and critically acclaimed AMC TV series, Breaking Bad, before it left the air last September. But according to the viewer numbers it accumulated, I was one of the few who didn’t watch. For those of you who joined me in this apparent oversight of masterful TV, the series focuses on Walter White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher who upon finding out that he has inoperable lung cancer turns to producing and selling methamphetamine to make sure his family’s financial future is secure once he is dead. The show was filmed and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Taking advantage of the show’s popularity and the New Mexico backdrop, researchers at the Clinical & Translational Science Center at the University of New Mexico, entered a parody based on the series, entitled BREAKING (Bad) Barriers in the NIH Common Fund Video Competition. The film displays in an entertaining and simplistic way how bench discovery moves to clinical practice to a cure. More importantly the short film allowed UNM to showcase their CTSA and the work done there in a fun and entertaining way.

Finding new ways to communicate the science and research taking place within your lab is always a challenge. The NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives (NIH/DPCPSI) is charged with assisting the NIH in effectively addressing emerging scientific opportunities. The Video Competition was just one idea from this office that gives researchers another outlet to publicize their research.   This office can also assist in setting up NIH meetings and conferences, advertises new initiatives through the Common Fund and heads up collaborations across NIH Institutes and Centers.

If you are curious about the direction of NIH funding or looking for a cross –cutting, trans-NIH opportunity, take the time to review the DPCPSI website at

UTMB Core Focus – Research Histopathology Core

Core facilities provide centralized, shared resources making it possible for researchers, internally and externally, to share the costs of purchasing and maintaining specialized equipment, products, and services. Faculty, researchers, students and staff at UTMB are fortunate to have access to thirty-eight core facilities and twelve restricted core facilities on campus.… Read more »

New NIH Policies Explore Balancing Sex Differences in Pre-Clinical Studies

In 1993, the NIH Revitalization Act first required the inclusion of women in research studies. Twenty-one years later, one-half of all NIH funded clinical research participants are women. Unfortunately, these numbers do not translate across the board to pre-clinical research. “Sex is a fundamental variable in biomedical research,” explains Janine… Read more »


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced beginning October 1, 2014, all progress reports using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) must include the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) in Section B Accomplishments. Grantees will also report on whether they use IDPs for all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers… Read more »

NIH Director encourages Interaction

  “Science is increasingly a team sport-and it’s important to provide scientists with as many avenues as possible through which to interact, including commenting on each other’s work.”  Francis Collins, M.D. Ph.D., Director NIH In his blog from Tuesday, August 5, 2014, PubMed Commons: Catalyzing Scientist-To-Scientist Interactions, Dr. Francis Collins,… Read more »