Behind the Scenes: Staff Holiday Potluck Fun

We know how to party at the library. Most librarians are actually pretty great at partying we’ve found…Here’s a peek into what we were up to at our annual staff holiday potluck.


You may notice that we were enjoying a virtual Yule Log- the perfect touch to add some festive flair! Librarian and crafter extraordinaire John Jones also made charming snowpeople and paper trees for us as table decorations.

There were lots of tasty treats and dishes brought in by the staff, including homemade tamales by Stefanie Ortiz and an incredible shrimp dip. There was also fried chicken made by Stop & Shop, hummus, a very impressive salsa via David Martinez, a ham, a big crockpot of sausage and peppers and plenty of chips among other delicious things.

After we had all had a bite to eat and were loudly chatting with each other, there was a holiday raffle. We had each filled out 1 (ONE) ticket each with our names and left it in a basket on a table with the prizes. Many things were coveted. Thinh Le from IT was especially excited about a certain fuzzy blanket that he actually ended up going home with (see group photo above, where he is sitting with it contentedly). Here’s a picture of some a table that was particularly blessed with raffle luck (and an adorable nephew):


After the much more serious and all-around lovely raffle came the riotous White Elephant Gift Exchange. I am told there is a tradition of humor that definitely had a strong showing this year. Please note the “Kilty Pleasures” calendar at the bottom of the picture and the correlating expressions of the lovely library staff members…

As is clear, it was an absolute blast and a great way to build more rapport with team members in the library. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with co-workers in different departments whose offices are on different floors and this was an extremely enjoyable way of making up for that.

Many thanks to the library’s Stress Buster’s committee for organizing! Happy New Year to everyone from the Health Sciences Library Staff

Happy New Year to everyone from the Health Sciences Library Staff  🎉

Art from CU Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus Community 2017


Art from the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Community is an exhibition presented by the Exhibits Committee of the Health Sciences Library.

There are many talented artists on our campuses! This juried annual exhibition is an opportunity for us to learn about our talented co-workers, faculty, staff, and students.

Exhibit dates: January 5 – March 31, 2017
Opening Reception: January 26, 2017, 3 pm – 5 pm in Gallery
Location: Health Sciences Library, Gallery, 3rd Floor (directions and parking)

BD2K Updates from NIH

BD2K New Announcements:

  • Revised Commons Credits Pilot Opportunity: NIH has partnered with the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare (CAMH), operated by MITRE, to launch the Commons Credits Pilot. This program is designed to yield a more efficient and cost-effective means for extramurally-funded NIH grantees to gain access to cutting-edge computing power, storage, and analysis through vetted commercial cloud vendors with shorter application requirements and review times. Up to $6 million in total credits may be allocated to investigators, however, NIH expects that individual requests will not typically exceed $50,000. Three open submission cycles will occur before summer 2017. The first call for applications is open December 9, 2016 through January 9, 2017. Submit your application via the Commons Credits Portal. Successful applications should complement a procured NIH grant and will be evaluated for content, scientific contribution, and novelty. For additional information, see the attached .pdf flyer.
  • The ENIGMA Center hosted the international workshop “Big Data and the Human Brain,” December 13, at the Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, which presented how Big Data Science can help us better understand our brain. As part of the workshop, the two sides discussed the first ENIGMA Big Data Working Groups to be led from Russia on neurogenetic disorders in children as well as a joint Skoltech-ENIGMA Center to be inaugurated at Skoltech. For additional information, read the Press Release or the Full Proceedings (.pdf) available in English and Russian.

Active BD2K Opportunities:

  • NIH RFI: NOT-OD-17-015 “Strategies for NIH Data Management, Sharing, and Citation” seeks public comments on: 1) what, when, and how data should be managed and shared; and 2) setting standards for citing shared data and software. Complete instructions on how to comment can be found on the NIH OSP Website. Read the “Under the Poliscope” blog post: “The What and How of Data Sharing” by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy. The response deadline has been extended to January 19, 2017. For more information, contact: or 301-496-9838.
  • MD2K Training Opportunity: The 2017 mHealth Training Institute at UCLA, August 6-11, 2017, is now accepting applications. This unique transdisciplinary incubator brings together researchers for a week-long, immersive “bootcamp” in all things related to mHealth. In addition to providing the participants with a core educational grounding in transdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies essential to mHealth innovation, the mHTI seeks to instill in participants the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills and connections necessary for cross-cutting research. Applications due January 29, 2017. For more information or to apply, visit:

BD2K Events:

  • Public voting for the Open Science Prize is LIVE! We need your help to determine which of the finalist prototypes are the most novel and impactful. Your vote plays a critical role in determining which three of the six finalist teams will compete for a grand prize of $230,000. The winning prototype will be selected by the National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust and publically announced in March 2017. Click here to review the prototypes. Voting runs from December 1, 2016, through 11:59pm PST on January 6, 2017. For additional information, please see the attached .pdf flyer or email:
  • Women in Data Science Workshop (co-hosted by Women Data Scientists DC, NIH, American Statistical Association, and Capital One), February 3, 2017, 10:30am – 5:30pm ET, at the Capital One McLean Conference Center. You are invited to a gathering of local (Maryland-DC-Virginia) data scientists for a day of technical talks, workshops, and networking. This event is free to attend and will be live streamed. For more information and to register, visit: or see the attached .pdf flyer.
  • The BD2K Training Coordination Center (TCC) invites you to a weekly webinar series, “The BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science,” Fridays, 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT). The Series will be streamed live, login/registration link is available on the BD2K TCC Webinars Page. Archived lectures are available on the TCC YouTube Channel. For additional information, contact John Van Horn at:

Data Science New Announcements:

  • HHS Town Hall Meeting, December 20, 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET, 5600 Fishers Lane, Pavilion A, Rockville, MD. Ambassador Deborah L. Birx M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy presents “Transforming PEPFAR through Data.” Ambassador Birx will discuss the achievements of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which remains the single largest commitment any country has ever made to address a single disease, and the use of data to monitor PEPFAR performance and enhance decision-making to ensure every dollar has the most impact. Participation is reserved for HHS/NIH employees and contractors. To register, visit: For additional information or to request special accommodations, please email:
  • NIH Common Fund FOA: RFA-RM-17-001 “Novel Analytical Approaches for Metabolomics Data (R03).” The NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Program has released a funding opportunity to foster collaboration between computational scientists, metabolomics experts, and biomedical researchers in developing, piloting, and/or validating novel bioinformatic approaches that address current analytical hurdles in metabolomics data. Letter of Intent due January 14, 2017; applications due February 14, 2017.
  • NIH Common Fund FOA: RFA-RM-16-024 “Knowledge Management Center for Illuminating the Druggable Genome (U24).” The NIH Common Fund Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) Program enables researchers to explore understudied proteins with the potential to be modified by medicines. The program plans to allocate $54 million to advance research through the development, broad dissemination, and use of community scientific resources to study human proteins for which publicly available information or active research is lacking. IDG aims to catalyze the discovery of novel biology, with a particular focus on understudied members of the protein kinase, ion channel, and non-olfactory G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) families. The program is administered by NIDDK, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the National Cancer Institute. Letter of Intent due February 14, 2017; applications due March 14, 2017.
  • X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium, presented by the U.S. Department of Defense, April 28, 2017, 9:30am – 3:00pm ET, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC. This educational event is for middle through high school students and features interactive presentations and workshops by an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Online registration opens January 2017.  Advance registration is required to attend X-STEM. Sign up on the Interest List to be notified when registration is available. For additional information, contact:

Data Science Opportunities:

  • The HHS Secretary’s Ventures Fund is looking for investments. Round 4 is now open and looking for HHS (and NIH) teams with proven, but still early-stage ideas that need support to get to the next level of implementation. Ventures provides growth-stage funding and support to HHS employees with innovative ideas for how to dramatically improve their Office, Agency, or the Department’s ability to carry out its mission. Extramural researchers may participate in collaboration with a designated FTE PI. Selected teams are given up to $100,000 and 15 months of coaching and technical support. Applications due December 20. Read more about previously awarded projects at: To apply, visit: For more information, contact Bonny Harbinger, Fund Manager, at or 202-774-2303.
  • National Library of Medicine RFI: The National Library of Medicine is seeking key input from stakeholders for Request for Information (RFI): NOT-LM-17-002 “Strategic Plan for the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.” Responses due January 9, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Standards: RFA-MH-17-256 – This FOA is aimed at funding short term projects to develop standards that describe experimental protocols that are being conducted as part of the BRAIN Initiative.  The funded data archives will be required to use these standards. Applications due January 10, 2017 and October 11, 2017.
  • The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is recruiting a Chief Data Scientist in the Office of the Director, DCEG. For details, please reference the attached Word document. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and bibliography, and three references to Catherine McClave, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute at: Applications due January 13, 2017 for the first round of interviews, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Data Archives: RFA-MH-17-255 – This FOA is aimed at funding web-accessible data archives to capture, store, and curate data related to BRAIN Initiative activities. Applications due January 17, 2017 and October 19, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA for Software Development: RFA-MH-17-257 – This FOA is aimed at developing informatics tools (or modifying existing tools) for analyzing, visualizing, and integrating data related to the BRAIN Initiative. Applications due January 19, 2017 and October 26, 2017.
  • NSF Funding Opportunity: Transdisciplinary Research In Principles Of Data Science (TRIPODS) aims to bring together the statistics, mathematics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. Letters of Intent due January 19, 2017; Full Proposals due March 15, 2017.
  • Call for Proposals: The International Society for Computational Biology’s 2017 European Conference on Computational Biology (ISMB/ECCB 2017), July 21-25 in Prague, is calling for Special Sessions proposals for emerging research. The Call for special sessions is open at: Submissions due January 19, 2017.
  • NIEHS FOA: RFA-ES-17-001 “Powering Research through Innovative Methods for Mixtures in Epidemiology (PRIME) (R01).” The purpose of this funding opportunity is to stimulate the development of innovative statistical, data science, or other quantitative approaches to studying the health effects of complex chemical mixtures in environmental epidemiology. Applications due February 22, 2017.
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative FOA: RFA-NS-17-018 – “BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs – TeamBCP (U19).” This program will support integrated, interdisciplinary collaborative research teams from prior BRAIN technology and/or integrated approaches teams, and/or new projects from the research community that focus on examining circuit functions related to behavior, using advanced and innovative technologies. Applications due March 1, 2017 and October 17, 2017.

Data Science Events:

  • Dr. Jon Gunderson of the Accessible Information Technology Group of the Rehabilitation Education Center at the University of Illinois has set up a series of monthly teleconferences to discuss open source web accessibility tools development. The meetings will be the first Thursday of the month at 2:00pm CT, but due to conferences some will be on the second Thursday. The next teleconference will be held on January 5, 2017 (first Thursday in January). Join the listserv here: The group’s email address is For additional information, contact Jon Gunderson at:
  • Biomedical Data Science Hackathon hosted by NCBI, NLM, and NHGRI, January 9-11, 2017, at the National Library of Medicine on the NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD. For additional information, contact:
  • The NIH Data Science in Biomedicine Interest Group announces its first meeting, January 13, 2017, 1:30 – 3:00pm ET, Bldg 1, Wilson Hall, on the NIH Main Campus. The meeting will feature an introduction from Phil Bourne, NIH Associate Director of Data Science, and talks by NIH researchers working with machine learning techniques. The talks will be followed by a networking session and discussion of future activities for the group. No registration is required for in-person attendance. To attend via webinar, please register at For additional information, contact

Data Science Resources:


Where to Find Coffee When You’re at the Library


It’s finals time, and we’ve been getting plenty of requests up at the desk for where to acquire some caffeine. A very good option if you’re in the library is visiting the coffee machine on the first floor just behind the stairs in the South of the building.

Available all day and all night, it has a number of coffee drinks on its automated menu, including lattes, cappuccinos, mocha lattes, hot chocolate and just plain drip coffee that can be customized with strength, milk, and sugar levels. The coffee machine is also incredibly well priced, at $1.20 for a vanilla latte (my recommendation).

The next option requires a bit of prior planning, but if you know that you’ll be in the library all day -or all night, since we have 24/7 access for CU Affiliates- bring K-Cups for one of our three Keurig machines. There’s one on every floor next to the microwaves. Gevalia has great mocha latte K-Cups that work out to being about $1 per brew. King Soopers always has them.

If the need for coffee is felt during regular university business hours and the prospect of a walk sounds nice, coffee options can also be found in Building 500 at the food court until 4pm, at Intermissions Café on the first floor of ED 2 North until 4pm, or Etai’s in Research 2 until 3pm.

There are also vending machines on the first floor of the library all the way at the North end of the building (closest to Montview) that have various caffeinated soda options as well as a variety of snacks. They accept credit cards as well as cash.

Online Reference Resources

Are you working on a project and wondering what online resources the library might have that can help you? This library website is a great place for you to start your search. Each month the blog will be featuring one resource or a group of similar resources to highlight, but to start we want to give you an overview of what the Online Reference Resources page offers.

The page is divided into five reference types and a home page. Starting on the homepage you can see that it has some tutorials for some of the sights that the library most often recommend for research including PubMed and EBSCO. On the left is a collection of links to all the other research areas we have collected resources for, medical, general, topical, grants, and images and media. The medical and general topics are both organized by the NLM classification system and have resources in a variety of media types from ebooks to videos.

On the medical tab you will find resources on everything from biochemistry to the respiratory system. Including a dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology, a collection of heart sounds, and a collection of health hotlines. The general reference tab has citation information, dictionaries, and information on law among other resources. No matter what your project the online reference resources page is a good place to start.

Like always if you can’t find any resources for your project on this page, or need help finding more you can contact the library with a quick question for a librarian to answer or set up a consultation to have a longer discussion about your needs.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas lights at Children's Hospital Colorado, ranked among the top 10 large employers in The Denver Post's Top Workplaces 2013 #childrenscolo #CUHSLibrary:

A visit to the National Library of Medicine

Back in September, I had the opportunity to visit the National Library of Medicine and take their public tour of the facility. I’ll start by saying it’s a really interesting tour, so if you’re ever in the Washington D.C. area, you should definitely check it out!

The NLM is located in Bethesda, Maryland (about 30 minutes outside of D.C.), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health. It was founded in 1836 and is currently the world’s largest biomedical library. The NLM also coordinates the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, of which your Health Sciences Library is a member.

The NLM building itself is very nice, with a couple of reading rooms on the ground floor and a lobby area that houses temporary exhibitions. During the public tour, we learned a bit about the history of the NLM and the building, and got to see a few different rooms and departments.

Coincidentally, myself and the other two guests on the tour I took were all librarians, so we saw a couple of areas that I believe the tour usually doesn’t go to. We were able to go downstairs into the stacks area, where there are bound physical copies of every biomedical journal you can imagine, dating back many decades. If the internet ever ceases to exist, the NLM will still have all the journal articles you might need! Interestingly, the design of the building initially included several architectural measures to keep these journals safe in the event of a catastrophic event in the area, but due to a variety of complications and bureaucratic red tape, the items are not actually protected by the design as it was intended.

We also saw several rooms full of massive servers that house MeSH, and the rooms where staff members work on MeSH. If you don’t know, MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings. It is a controlled vocabulary and is what makes PubMed (which is handled by the NLM) unique. NLM staff members with significant experience in a particular medical area–rather than robots–read every single article that will end up in PubMed. These humans then assign MeSH terms to each article. This process ensures that if I write an article about “lung cancer” and you write an article about “pulmonary neoplasms”, we’ll find each others’ articles even if we don’t specifically search for all of those terms– this makes PubMed an incredibly valuable resource for research, as I’m sure you know! (If you want to know more about using MeSH to your advantage to search PubMed really effectively, contact the Health Sciences Library and we’ll help you out.) Anyway, it was very neat to see the spaces where MeSH “lives” in the NLM building.

The real highlight of the tour for me was the History of Medicine collection, which is housed in one of the reading rooms on the ground floor. We got to take a peek in some staff members’ offices that are in this area, and saw this very large and very expensive book scanner that the staff members use to digitize historical texts. Out in the reading room area, we saw this very old card catalog that is not in use anymore but is still in its original location.

Finally, we went into a very fancy climate-controlled room where all of the really valuable historical texts are kept. This was incredible to see. This room has all kinds of security and preservation measures to keep these materials safe. To be honest, I can’t remember most of the specific texts that the staff member pulled out for us because they all so old and so amazing, but I do recall that he showed us an original letter that George Washington wrote to a medical officer during the Revolutionary War!

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I didn’t get great pictures of the books, but the short slideshow above gives you an idea of the kinds of materials in this room. Very, very cool!

The tour ended there, but you can see some of the amazing things the National Library of Medicine has from your own living room — their Digital Projects webpage is a good place to start your exploration of some materials you wouldn’t expect to be able to see on the web, such as an Egyptian surgical papyrus written in 1600 BC, or anatomical drawings from the 1400s! (Check out Historical Anatomies on the Web and Turning the Pages to see those documents.) The NLM also has a pretty thorough digitized collection of historical health-related images and videos, located on their Digital Collections webpage.

However, aside from all of the amazing old things, the NLM is also home to a massive number of current and modern resources that can improve your research and practice. I won’t go into detail here, but if you want to know more, please contact us at 303-724-2152 or Thanks for reading, and be sure to go visit the National Library of Medicine if you ever get the chance!

Featured Special Collections book for December

How Not to Die

by Michael Greger, MD

From the physician behind the wildly popular Web site, reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.

The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The fifteen leading causes of premature death–-illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and others–-claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. …you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to help prevent or fight these diseases and to live longer.

3rd floor Special Collections, Indigenous
INDIG QT 235 G818h 2015