January 2020

Wonka Theme Reigns Supreme in Sixth Annual Holiday Decorating Contest

Oompa Loompas set up shop in the hallways of Building 430. Building 362 shimmered with holiday lights and glitzy casino décor. Someone pitched a tent in the Scientific Library. For the sixth straight year, the Recreation and Welfare Club’s Holiday Decorating Contest transformed parts of NCI at Frederick and the Frederick National Laboratory into whimsical scenes of festive cheer.

Under the Microscope: CLIA Labs Follow Meticulous Protocols to Maintain Certification

As the director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Gordon Whiteley has one message for his team: “Treat every sample as if it were your own, your mother’s, or (from) someone you care about.” Whiteley and his team, part of the Cancer Research Technology Program at the Frederick National Laboratory, work in a high-complexity lab at the Advanced Technology Research Facility that operates under rigorous standards of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. The tests developed by the lab (one of five high-complexity labs associated with FNL) generally are not available anywhere else.

Cervical Cancer Prevention is as Simple as 1-2-3

For Kelly J. Lockard Toms, an associate in Occupational Health Services, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month is every month. Education and outreach efforts for cervical cancer are usually observed during the month of January. But as a cervical cancer survivor, Lockard Toms never misses an opportunity to educate women about the disease—and what can be a simple way to prevent it.

Science Thrives in Welcoming, Collegial Chemical Biology Laboratory

Euna Yoo, Ph.D., has found what she calls “the perfect place” to begin her career as an independent researcher—the Chemical Biology Laboratory at NCI at Frederick. The 11-year-old laboratory is an internationally recognized program that performs basic science to develop and apply chemical tools, methods, and materials to understand and alter biological processes involved in cancer and AIDS.

Act Naturally

Jason Evans is giving me a tour of the new NCI Program for Natural Products Discovery (NPNPD) facility when he pauses to look at a sample-handling robot under repair, its mechanical insides temporarily disemboweled. I ask if he has an electrical engineering background, and he laughs. Evans is a scientific programmer, but for him and his colleagues, that’s beside the point.

Committed to Wellness: James Cherry

Jim Cherry, Ph.D., is the scientific program director for the Office of Scientific Operations under the NCI Office of the Director. He attended Shepherd College on a football scholarship where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He earned a Master of Science in biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in biology with a concentration in biomedical science from The Catholic University of America. He specializes in molecular biology.