NCI's Web Site Redesign
A redesign of the NCI Web site (http://cancer.gov) is in progress, with a launch scheduled for June 2004. The proposed new design reflects extensive user research and is intended to help all site visitors more readily find the information they need. Please go to http://redesign.cancer.gov to see a few of the redesigned Web pages. The sample pages will be available at this URL through March 19. Your comments can help NCI make important refinements. Please use the e-mail link at http://redesign.cancer.gov to provide feedback.
NCI-Supported Researchers Receive MERIT Awards
New NCI awardees are: Dr. William H. Fenical, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; Dr. Stephen P. Goff, Columbia University Medical Center; Dr. Benjamin G. Neel, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University; and Dr. Timothy A. Springer, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard University.
For more information on MERIT Awards and for a list of all NCI researchers who have received this award, see http://cancer.gov/researchfunding/MERIT.
NCI Hosts Science Writers' Seminar
Scientists are creating a groundbreaking new research infrastructure that has the potential of fundamentally changing how cancer research is conducted. Through a partnership with the cancer community, NCI is developing a biomedical electronic informatics network that will generate a library of interoperable cancer research tools and data. NCI director Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach will speak at the seminar. Dr. Ken Buetow will give an overview of caBIG, Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski will discuss early-phase breast cancer clinical trials and describe the grid's value for clinicians conducting those trials, and Dr. Howard Fine will discuss how this initiative will support a national protocol for molecular diagnostics of brain tumor samples.
Space is limited to credentialed press only, but everyone can view the seminar via a live Webcast at http://www.ConnectLive.com/events/nci.
Scientists Focus on Tobacco Products
While there is increasing interest by both pharmaceutical and tobacco companies in developing products that decrease the health risks in smokers, there currently are no standard methods to conduct studies to assess risk reduction from these products, nor is there agreement regarding which biomarkers should be assessed to determine whether the use of new products actually decreases risk.
The introduction of these products and the fact that approximately 440,000 people in the United States die of tobacco-related diseases each year underscores the need to develop new product testing methods and validated biomarkers of exposure and harm. Investigators interested in pursuing these questions are encouraged to review two reports relevant to these issues. The first is a report from the Institute of Medicine, Clearing the Smoke: The Science Base for Harm Reduction. The second is the NCI Monograph, Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. Dr. Peter Shields of the Lombardi Cancer Center discussed many of the complex scientific challenges facing investigators in an article in the Oct. 2, 2002 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.