National Institutes of Health Translational Research Interest Group
NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series 

Translational Research Interest Group 

Our Theme: Bench to Bedside & Back 

The purpose of the Translational Research Interest Group (TRIG) is to bring together physician scientists and basic research scientists to discuss efficient ways of accelerating the application of biomedical discoveries to clinical practice, ultimately for the benefit of patients.  Conversely, it is also aimed to promote the translation of clinical observations into the development of improved preclinical study strategies and disease models.  The TRIG coordinates seminars, forums and symposia to help bridge the gap between laboratory research and clinical applications.  It also suggests topics and speakers for the Annual NIH Research Festivals, and nominates speakers for the NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

NIH intramural and extramural scientists are invited to become members of the TRIG.  The invitation to join the TRIG is extended to staffs at the Food and Drug Administration and other Federal Government Agencies, and scientists from the extramural research community outside of Government.  Please join our listserv and also add your name to our member list

TRIG events are announced through the listserv and this website.  The TRIG co-chairs are Vincent Manganiello and George Uhl.

Visit "Meetings and Seminars" for complete schedule of the TRIG-hosted events and abstracts of lectures.







Events in 2015:


Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group

March12, 2015 (Thursday) 1-2 pm,

Bldg.10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Simeon Taylor, MD, PhD

Special Volunteer, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, NIDDK

Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Director, Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Title: SGLT2 Inhibitors: A New Class of Antidiabetic Drugs and A Case Study in Translational Research

Inhibitors of sodium-dependent glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) comprise the most recently approved class of oral anti-diabetic drugs. By inhibiting renal tubular reabsorption of glucose, this class of drugs promotes urinary glucose excretion. This mechanism of action provides several benefits to patients with type 2 diabetes: improved glycemic control, weight loss, and decreased blood pressure. The discovery of SGLT2 inhibitors provides an illustrative case study in translational research. The SGLT2 gene is the locus of mutations causing the syndrome of familial renal glucosuria, which provided strong human genetic validation of the concept that an SGLT2 inhibitor would increase renal glucose excretion in humans. Phlorizin (a natural product with activity as a non-selective inhibitor of SGLT1 and SGLT2) provided the starting point for the medicinal chemistry program that optimized selective SGLT2 inhibitors with drug-like properties. The presentation will review clinical data that led to regulatory approval of these drugs by FDA and other Health Authorities. With widespread use of these drugs, additional aspects of the drugs’ pharmacology have become apparent – including potential safety issues (e.g., an increase in treatment-emergent bone fractures and possibly an increased risk of ketoacidosis). The presentation will provide hypotheses to provide mechanistic explanations relating SGLT2 inhibition to the potential safety issues.

Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group



February 12, 2015 (Thursday) 1-2 pm,

Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater


Ivan Fuss M.D.

Staff Clinician, Molecular Mucosal Immunity Section,

Laboratory of Host Defenses, NIAID



Title: Ulcerative Colitis: A human intestinal inflammatory disease mediated

by NKT cells producing IL-13.


Description: Ulcerative colitis is a unique type of gastrointestinal inflammation that constitutes one of the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease. It is characterized by a large lamina propria non-invariant NKT cell population that express increased amounts of a unique surface IL-13 receptor that is  likely  responding to sulfatide Self-antigens secreted by “stressed” epithelial cells.  These NKT cells appear to be the effectors of disease since they are cytotoxic for epithelial cells and secrete IL-13, a cytokine that is damaging to the gut epithelium. These current studies point to new therapeutic targets, most notably the unique array of cytokines or their receptors that have been shown to be involved in detrimental effects. 

Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group
January 8, 2015 (Thursday) 1-2 pm,

Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater


Marc Reitman, MD PhD

Senior Investigator and Chief

Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, NIDDK

Developing Drugs for Obesity: Of Humans and Mice

Description: Obesity prevalence is ~35% in the United States and ~20% in Europe, and is increasing worldwide. Obesity is costly and contributes to serious comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Despite the epidemic’s magnitude, few effective therapeutic options exist and current pharmacotherapy is rudimentary. This talk will review the history of obesity drugs, the process of drug development using bombesin receptor subtype-3 (BRS-3) agonism as an example, and explore ways to improve the use of mice to understand obesity physiology and improve drug development.



Events in 2013-2014:




Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group
December 11, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm,
Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater



Kong Chen PhD, MSCI

Director, Human Energy and Body Weight Regulation Core

Clinical Investigator

Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, NIDDK


Title: Cold-induced Thermogenesis in Humans.


Description: With the ever-increasing global burden of obesity and its associated chronic diseases, we are searching for ways to safely and effectively increase energy expenditure and/or reduce energy intake. While it has been known for years that small animals efficiently increase metabolic rates in the cold through the activation of brown adipose tissue, it is only fairly recently that we have realized that adult humans also have brown fat which can be “turned on” to increase heat production during cold exposures. Our research has been focusing on the quantification of cold-induced thermogenesis in humans, by carefully measuring the changes in energy expenditure (heat production) and other associated physiological responses at different environmental temperatures spanning from cold to warm (16-31°C) under rigorously controlled conditions. The goals of the study are to (1) determine the capacity of non-shivering thermogenesis, which will guide future strategies for obesity prevention/intervention efforts;  (2) understand the mechanism(s) regulating energy expenditure in humans, such as brown adipose tissue, vasoconstriction, and shivering, thus potentially leading to targeted interventions in the future; and (3) explore models of thermal biology which can help to improve translations between mice and humans.

Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group

November 13, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm,

Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater


Susan E. Bates M.D.

Head, Molecular Therapeutics Section,

Developmental Therapeutics Branch, NCI


Title: Past Present Future: The Evolution of Epigenetic Therapies in Cancer.


Description: Steady progress in sequencing cancer genomes in recent years has revealed numerous mutations in genes that encode proteins regulating chromatin. These observations have generated great interest as they have offered potential new targets for anticancer therapies. While several FDA-approved agents targeting chromatin are in clinical use, many more are in preclinical and early clinical development. The emerging data also offer the opportunity to better understand and improve the activity of the DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibitors already in the clinic.  Novel drug combinations, schedules, and combinations of epigenetic therapies offer the opportunity to expand the reach of these proven cancer therapies.


Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group.






October 16, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm.
Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater


 Alan Remaley, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
Section Chief, Lipoprotein Metabolism Laboratory


Title: Recombinant Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase: Potential new treatment for Familial LCAT Deficiency and cardiovascular disease.

Description: Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase is a plasma enzyme produced by the liver and is the main extracellular enzyme for the esterification of cholesterol. It essential for HDL biogenesis and promotes the efflux of excess cholesterol from cells.  Patients with a genetic deficiency of LCAT have low HDL and develop chronic renal failure because of the formation of abnormal lipoprotein particles devoid of cholesteryl esters.  In a Phase I clinical trial we show that recombinant LCAT is safe and well tolerated and acutely raises HDL-cholesterol from 40–60%, which suggests that it may be useful for the rapid stabilization of patients with acute coronary syndrome. Recombinant LCAT was shown in one patient with Familial LCAT Deficiency to restore cholesterol esterification and to normalize the lipoprotein profile, which suggests it may be possibly be useful as an enzyme replacement therapy for this disorder.


Lecture hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group
June 12, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm.
Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Kapil Bharti, PhD
Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator
Head, Unit on Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Research

Title: Induced to Cure: Engineering iPS Cell-derived RPE Scaffolds to Treat Degenerative Eye Diseases

Description: The recent success with embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) has provided hope for a treatment for degenerative eye diseases. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are an alternate and an autologous source of stem cells with potentially fewer immune-challenges as compared to ES cells. Using a developmentally-guided differentiation protocol we have developed fully polarized RPE tissue from iPS cells. The RPE monolayer along with its secreted ECM and the scaffold form a tissue that well mimics the native tissue. This tissue has been functionally authenticated in vitro for its ability to perform several key RPE functions and is being tested in animal models. We have begun manufacturing for a Phase I Investigational New Drug (IND) to transplant autologous iPS cell-derived RPE in patients in advanced Geographic Atrophy stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading blinding diseases in the US. We propose to develop the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center as an “alpha-stem cell clinic” with the capability to recruit patients, manufacture clinical-grade autologous iPS cell-derived RPE tissue, perform transplantation, do patient care, and be able to transfer technology to academic and private sectors. We suggest that our open access model with complete access to the entire IND package will reduce redundant efforts in the field, foster public-private partnerships, and help move the ocular regenerative medicine field forward.











NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

Forum hosted by the NIH Translational Research Interest Group
May 8, 2014 (Thursday) 1-3 pm, Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Title:Translational Research in the NHLBI Intramural Program

Michael Sack, M.D., Ph.D.



Chief, Cardiovascular Pullmonary Branch, NHLBI


Manfred Boehm, M.D.

Senior Investigator, Center for Molecular Medicine, NHLBI

Title: Vascular remodeling in mice and man.

Description: Three topics will be discussed:
1) the role of endothelial to mesenchymal transition during vein graft remodeling in a murine model.
2) the identification and elucidation of two rare genetic diseases.

ACDC (Arterial calcification due to deficiency of CD73): from genotype to disease mechanism and therapy.
DADA2 (Deficiency of ADA2): the role of monocyte endothelial cell interaction in children with early onset strokes.

Adrian Wiestner, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, Hematology Branch, NHLBI

Title: Targeting B-cell receptor signaling in lymphoma and leukemia

Description: The B-cell receptor (BCR) is essential for normal B-cell development and maturation.  In an increasing number of B-cell malignancies, BCR signaling is implicated as a pivotal pathway in tumorigenesis.  Chronic lymphocytic leukemia has been recognized for decades as a malignancy of auto-reactive B-cells and its clinical course is in part determined by the differential response of the malignant cells to BCR activation. Recently, a role for BCR signaling has been suggested in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).  Ibrutinib, a covalent inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase effectively blocks BCR signaling and induces high rates of response in both CLL and MCL.  I will discuss ex-vivo analyses of patient samples that support the importance of BCR signaling in CLL and MCL and will present results from our ongoing clinical trial with ibrutinib in CLL.

April 3, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm, Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Kyung S. Lee, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Metabolism, National Cancer Institute, NIH 

Title: Polo-like Kinase 1 (Plk1) in Mitotic Control and Anti-cancer Therapy 

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

March 13, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm, Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Jurgen Wess, Ph.D.
Chief, Molecular Signaling Section, Lab. of Bioorganic Chemistry, NIDDK
Studies with muscarinic acetylcholine receptor mutant mice: Implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

February 13, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 pm, Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Susan E. Bates M.D.
Head, Molecular Therapeutics Section, Developmental Therapeutics Branch, NCI
Title: Past Present Future: The Evolution of Epigenetic Therapies in Cancer.

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

January 9, 2014 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., NIH Bldg 10 (Clinical Research Center)  Lipsett Amphitheater 
Frederick W. Miller, M.D., Ph.D
Chief, Environmental Autoimmunity Group, Program of Clinical Research, NIEHS

Title:Autoimmune Disease Phenotypes: Touchstones for Identifying Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

September 12, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 50 Lobby Rm 1227/1233, NIH Campus
Shihui Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAID
Title: Treating solid tumors with tumor-associated protease-activated anthrax toxins

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

November 14, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Jay Chung, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research
Title: Taking lessons from red wine and resveratrol into the clinic

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series

September 12, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Stewart Levine, M.D.
Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Asthma and Lung Inflammation, NHLBI
Title: From Bedside to Bench to Clinical Trials: Identifying New Treatments for Asthma































































































Events in 2012-2013:

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
June 13, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Ena Wang, M.D.
Director of Molecular Science, Infectious Diseases and Immunogenetics Section
Department of Transfusion Medicine, NIH Clinical Center
“Genetic Inference about Cancer Immune Responsiveness”



Forum on “Immunotoxins for Cancer Treatment: From Design to Clinical Success

May 9, 2013 (Thursday) 1-3 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Ira Pastan, M.D.
NIH Distinguished Investigator; Institute of Medicine Member; Co-Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
“Introduction to Recombinant Immunotoxins”

Robert J. Kreitman, M.D.
Head, Clinical Immunotherapy Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Senior Investigator, NCI
“Treatment of Refractory Hairy Cell Leukemia with Moxetumomab pasudotox”

Alan S. Wayne, M.D.
Head, Hematologic Diseases Section; Senior Clinician, Pediatric Oncology Branch, NCI
“Treatment of Refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children with Moxetumomab pasudotox”



Raffit Hassan, M.D.
Head, Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Senior Investigator, NCI
“Treatment of Mesothelioma with Immunotoxin SS1P”

Ira Pastan, M.D.
“Future Directions”


































NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
May 2, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Rajesh Ranganathan, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Translational Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“NINDS Accelerates Therapeutic and Device Discovery and Development”

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
April 18, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater


































Bibi Bielekova, M.D.
Chief, Neuroimmunological Diseases Unit, Neuroimmunology Branch, NINDS
“Can implementation of systems biology into clinical trials accelerate understanding of complex disease? Lessons from Multiple Sclerosis”

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
March 14, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Crystal L. Mackall, M.D.
Chief, Pediatric Oncology Branch; Head, Immunology Section
Center for Cancer Research, NCI
“Developing Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer”

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
February 14, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.
Investigator, Laboratory of Translational Genomics
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI
“Identification and characterization of a novel human interferon, IFNL4, and its role in human evolution and disease”

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
January 10, 2013 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 Room 2-C116

Gustavo Pacheco-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI
“Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)”

NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
December 13, 2012 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Phil Skolnick, PhD, DSc (hon.)
Director, Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, NIDA
“Developing Drugs to Treat Substance Use Disorders (SUDs): Why Haven't We Been More Successful?”
NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
November 8, 2012 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

George Kunos, MD, PhD
Scientific Director of Intramural Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
“The peripheral endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor system is a novel therapeutic target for obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease”
NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series
October 25, 2012 (Thursday) 1-2 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater

Robert A. Star, MD
Director, Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, NIDDK
Senior Investigator and Chief, Renal Diagnostics and Therapeutics Unit, NIDDK
“Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury: Kidney as amplifier and target”

2012 NIH Research Festival
October 11, 2012 (Thursday) 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Natcher Conference Center Room E1/E2

Symposium Session IV
“Common Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pathogenesis and Treatment of Human Diseases”
Co-Chairs: Minkyung (Min) Song, PhD, NCI, and Joel Moss, MD, PhD, NHLBI

Matthew Alkaitis, FARE Award Winner, NIAID
“Malaria Infection Depletes Erythrocyte Tetrahydrobiopterin, an Essential Cofactor for Nitric Oxide Synthesis"
Joel Moss, MD, PhD, NHLBI
“Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) as a Target for Therapeutic Intervention in Diverse Diseases”
Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, PhD, NCI
“From Cancer Genetics to Translational Genomics: Genetic and Functional Association of Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA) Gene with Several Cancers”
Gregory Kato, MD, NHLBI
“Pleiotropic Effects of Intravascular Hemolysis upon Vascular Homeostasis”
Emily Y. Chew, MD, NEI
“Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration by Targeting Diverse Pathogenic Pathways”
David S. Goldstein, MD, PhD, NINDS
“Willie Sutton's Getaway Car and the Pathogenesis of Lewy Body Diseases”

2012 NIH Research Festival
October 10, 2012 (Wednesday) 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Natcher Conference Center Room F
Symposium Session II
“Health Disparities: Advances in Translational, Clinical, and Population Sciences”
Co-Chairs: Anil Wali, PhD, NCI, and Jeffrey Kopp, MD, NIDDK


Cheryl Winkler, PhD, NCI
“Identification of APOL1 genetic variation explains much of the increased chronic kidney disease characteristic of African Americans”
Stefan Ambs, PhD, NCI
“A prognostic metabolome signature in breast tumors is linked to a distinct DNA methylation pattern in African-American and European-American patients”
Kevin Gardner, MD, PhD, NCI/CCR
"Molecular Linkages between Race, Obesity and Triple-negative Breast Cancer"
Charles Rotimi, PhD, NHGRI
“Ethnic Differences in lipid distribution: Implications for disease risk and response to treatment”
Cristina Rabadán-Diehl, PhD, MPH, NHLBI
“Health Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease: A Global Health Perspective”
NIH Translational Research Interest Group Lecture Series









September 13, 2012 (Thursday) 1-3 p.m., Bldg. 10 (Clinical Research Center) Lipsett Amphitheater
Forum on “Discovery and Development of Therapeutic Candidates for Rare and Neglected Diseases at NIH”
John McKew, Ph.D.
Chief of the Therapeutic Development Branch and Director of Chemistry, NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
“Public Private Partnerships to Advance Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases”

Marjan Huizing, Ph.D.
Head, Cell Biology of Metabolic Disorders Unit, Medical Genetics Branch, NHGRI
“N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) as a Therapy for Disorders of Hyposialylation”
Nuria Carrillo, M.D.
Staff Clinician, Therapeutics for Rare & Neglected Diseases (TRND), NCATS
“Translating ManNAc into a Therapy for Patients with Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (HIBM)”
















































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