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21st Annual Spring Research Festival Highlights Science, Celebrates Collaboration

For two days at the annual Spring Research Festival, Fort Detrick was abuzz with scientific discussion as researchers and visitors from the site’s many resident government agencies and contractors gathered to share findings and recognize collaborative research. Each year, the festival focuses on intermural scientific work, as well as challenges and discoveries in the fight against cancer and infectious diseases. Spread across three separate venues and packed with seven events that included lectures, a poster session, and a vendor expo, this year’s festival did just that.

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The Wye Oaks on Campus

The Wye Oak tree—a towering white oak that lived for nearly 500 years in Talbot County, Maryland—was the nation’s largest white oak tree as well as the State Tree of Maryland until it was destroyed in a severe thunderstorm in 2002. Today, several clones of the Wye Oak, as well as a few of the Wye Oak’s progeny, still exist—including two on the NCI at Frederick campus.

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Keeping NCI at Frederick Pest-Free—Doug Vaughn

Nuisance critters and creepy crawlers aren’t a problem at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at Frederick, and that’s largely thanks to the efforts of Douglas Vaughn, the institution’s pest controller. Endearingly known to some staff as “Doug the Bug Guy,” Vaughn has been doing pest control for 39 years, 22 of which have been at NCI at Frederick. However, he doesn’t just handle bugs, and he isn’t the average exterminator.

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