Seminar Invitation for Thursday, July 27:
Flow Cytometry Multi-Color Panel Design and More

VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) and PAVIR Flow Core will be hosting a seminar by Lisa Bellemare, a lecturer at BD Biosciences, on flow cytometry mutli-color panel design and FACS tips and tricks.  This course is great for those who are looking to expand their current staining procedure or want to learn more about FACS sorting.  It's also a great opportunity to learn  about your colleagues who are doing flow cytometry and perhaps make a few new connections and collaborations here at the VA and Stanford. Below is the information on the date and the time of the seminar. Corey Cain, PhD, VAPAHCS FACS Core Director, will be working with other groups to try to bring more flow cytometry focused seminars here to VAPAHCS.  BD Biosciences is sponsoring food for the seminar on the 27th.

Day:            Thursday July 27th 

Time:          1pm-3pm 

Location:    Ed Stallings Auditorium, Building 101, Room B1-100, Palo Alto Division

Presenter:  Lisa Belllemare (BD Biosciences)


For more information, see the BD Seminar flyer at
or contact Corey Cain at or (209) 324-9540.

It is our pleasure to announce the “VAPAHCS Translational Research Forum Series,” which will launch in early Fall this year.  The talks will be organized by Drs. Jennifer Lee and William Robinson, members of the VAPAHCS Research Planning Council (RPC). 
The RPC reports to Dr. Leung, VAPAHCS Chief of Staff, to advise on strategic matters relating to VAPAHCS research.  Drs. Lee and Robinson will ask local researchers to present and address their key research findings, their scientific and clinical impact, as well as major challenges and future priorities in their field.  Topics will include Genomic Health, Alzheimer’s Disease, Pain and the Role of Inflammation and Next-Generation Therapies, Inflammation in Obesity, Surgical Outcomes, Women’s Health, Big Data and many more.  The one- hour lunch talks will be held at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, but may also be scheduled at other VAPAHCS locations.  PAVIR will sponsor finger food to accommodate everybody’s busy schedules.  For additional information, please contact, or
Non-exempt employees (paid an hourly rate) are eligible for compensation for time spent traveling or working offsite, such as attending an out-of -town business meeting or a conference.  Non-exempt employees are required to fill out a Non-exempt Travel Approval form, submit it to their supervisor for prior approval and send it to the Payroll Department at  The form should be sent no later than the last day of the pay period in which the offsite work, business meeting or conference occurred. The Non-exempt Travel Approval form is available in the forms section on at  Supervisors and managers should be aware of potential additional costs (which may include overtime) associated with non-exempt employees' travel.  Please contact for any questions. 

UPDATE: The NIH Grant Support Index is out, Next Generation Researcher Initiative is in

(in part excerpted from The NIH Director Page at, released on June 8, 2017)
In our May PAVIR newsletter, we informed you of NIH's plan to limit the total NIH grant support provided to an individual principal investigator through NIH-supported research. This initiative was called the Grant Support Index (GSI).  On June 8th, Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, made another announcement that included "... we also heard significant concerns about the GSI methodology for assessing research impact, and the potential for application of a GSI-based cap on total support to discourage team science, complex trials, research networks, and the support of infrastructure and training. As a result, we are shifting toward a bold, more focused approach to bolster support to early- and mid-career investigators while we continue to work with experts on approaches to evaluate our research portfolio."  

In his Open Mike blog on June 16, 2017, Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH's Deputy Director for Extramural Research, published additional information on NIH's Next Generation Research Initiative ( Dr. Lauer outlined some of the goals of this initiative, and also announce a new website - - to inform the research community that NIH will specifically support early-stage and mid-career investigators.  Policy details are still forthcoming, but are framed by further extending the payline for applications for early-stage investigators, and extending paylines for mid-career investigators about to lose all NIH funding.  NIH anticipates that the cost of this initiative will be about $210M in the first year, and approximately $1.1B for the next five years.  

In light of the uncertainties surrounding the future budgets of the NIH, one has to wonder where these funds will be coming from.  It stands to reason that competition for grant funding will increase, especially for reasonably well funded researchers.  Here at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), VA paid investigators have the privilege to be able to apply for and secure VA funding, which is of course limited to VA-based researchers.  Furthermore, based on VAPAHCS researchers' access to the VA population and their experience regarding research priories set by the Department of Defense (DoD), researchers here have good opportunities to attract DoD funding. These are clearly advantages of our institutional setting; nonetheless, PAVIR strongly encourages you to continue to compete for NIH funding and to not succumb to submission fatigue.  Continue to submit your great ideas to NIH.  There is no grant award that is not based on a grant submission and one has to submit to succeed.  PAVIR admin core staff stands ready to help you!  We also encourage PIs to submit their core ideas to several funding agencies.  By reusing some of your already developed thoughts, you will save time and the worst that could happen is that you have to choose whose funding to accept!

As mentioned in our May newsletter, we strongly encourage all investigators and PAVIR staff to stay current on NIH announcements by following and Dr. Michael Lauer’s blog at

Exempt Employee Reminder: Time Off Requests

We remind you that it is the responsibility of each employee to submit time off requests.  If you forget to submit a time off request, please do it after the fact and as soon as possible.  If you are a Timecard Approver or Supervisor for other PAVIR employees, please be sure to follow up with your staff to ensure they submit time off requests as necessary.
Late time off requests that are submitted and approved will be deducted from your available sick or vacation balance in a subsequent pay period.  
Currently, only full-time PAVIR employees (those working 30+ hours/week) are eligible for the Commuter Benefits plan.  Effective August 1, 2017, PAVIR is changing the eligibility requirement such that all employees scheduled to work 20+ hours/week will be able to participate.  If eligible, you can purchase transit and parking benefits for commuting to and from work using pre-tax payroll deductions.  For additional information, please email, or call Vita, our friendly benefits broker, at 1-800-838-8482.  

Update: Pre-tax Commuter Benefit Plan

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