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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 06/11/99
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Director of National Institutes of Health Speaks at UC

Cincinnati—Harold Varmus, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will speak at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Center on Monday, June 21. Sponsored by UC's Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP), Varmus' lecture entitled "Designing Mouse Models for Human Cancer" will begin at 4:00 p.m. in room 7051 of the Medical Sciences Building and is open to the public.

Varmus has been the director of the NIH since November 1993. Previously he was professor of microbiology, biochemistry, and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Michael Bishop, MD, for demonstrating that cancer genes can arise from normal cellular genes.

The NIH is one of eight health agencies of the Public Health Service, which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability from the rarest genetic disorder to the common cold. The NIH works toward that goal by conducting research in its own laboratories and supporting the research of non-federal scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals, and research institutions throughout the country.

The PSTP is a collaboration between UC's College of Medicine and Children's Hospital Medical Center and is aimed at students interested in obtaining both the MD and PhD degrees. The eight-year program is a mix of medical and basic science courses, biomedical science research, and hands-on clinical education. Upon completion, these physician-scientists conduct translational research that they can take from their labs to their patients. "Our goal is to train physicians who are both excellent scientists and compassionate physicians," says Judy Harmony, PhD, director of PSTP.

Currently the program is raising funds for its endowment. The program hopes to bring its endowment from $3 million to $10 million. The funds will help supplement students' education expenses, which are about $186,000. The support will enable students to focus on their clinical and research future.

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