As I write my letter this month, I have the PBS special “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” playing in the background. NIH scientists and their projects are peppered throughout the documentary, and decades of research unfold on the screen. I was originally going to focus my letter on the grant-writing theme of this issue, but I can’t help but take this moment to reflect on how biomedical research holds a special place in our society. The most striking example of this is not in the documentary’s compilation of cancer studies, but in the personal stories of those whose lives are affected by the research. While each story’s trajectory is unique, the hope that science brings is unmistakable.
Certain chemical and physical principles are shared among all life, giving the most basic research the potential to touch those suffering from a variety of disorders and diseases. The NICHD stands at a unique intersection between basic science and clinical application. A great example of this cross-section is sure to be seen in the upcoming NICHD Human Placenta Project Meeting. And as for the focus of this month’s newsletter, perhaps by keeping in mind the vital role of biomedical research, grant writing will become a little less tedious and a little more inspirational.
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Please send comments, questions, and ideas to Shana.Spindler@gmail.com.