View a 508-compliant PDF of this issue here: NICHD_Connection_2014_04.pdf

The theme this month is self-reflection. Life can be hectic, and it’s hard to take a quiet moment to think about the health of your mind and body. We have several articles in this issue that tackle the importance of evaluating your lifestyle and thought patterns. 

Dr. Reina Haddad examines “impostor syndrome,” the feeling that you’re a fake and have achieved success by mere luck. Her article reveals surprising data points about how impostor syndrome affects the personal lives of NIH fellows. 

For some fellows, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the largest challenge. Erin Fincher provides an excellent recap of the latest NICHD Exchange meeting, which focused on evidence-based practices for weight loss and obesity prevention in children. As it turns out—not so surprisingly—some of the fad diets aren’t a cure-all, and it breaks down to a simple calories-in versus calories-out. 

Perhaps no one would argue the need for self-reflection more than the Dalai Lama. Postbac Uma Srivastava offers her reaction to the Dalai Lama’s recent NIH visit in the “Thoughts of a Postbac” column. The Dalai Lama’s inspiring words helped her to find pleasure in life’s daily activities and reconciled some of her thoughts on science and religion.

While we focus on personal health, we haven’t forgotten about the health of your career. In this issue, we provide a thorough Former Fellow Follow-up with Dr. Fiona Mitchell, senior editor for The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology and Part II of our Three-Minute-Talks Workshop recap by Dr. Parmit Kumar Singh

As is with the course of life, we are forced to say goodbyes, some too soon. We are saddened to have recently lost two valued members of our NICHD community, Dr. Robert E. Cooke and Dr. Alexander Vergara Tinoco. Dr. Cooke, in collaboration with Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was a key player in founding the NICHD. He was 93 years old at the time of his death at his home in Martha’s Vineyard. Dr. Vergara, a postdoc who shared his time between the Stopfer lab and Dr. Steve Semanick’s lab at NIST, passed away while visiting family in Mexico City. His contributions to the scientific community were numerous, with his latest project aimed at developing algorithms to distinguish the signals that odors elicit from artificial sensors. 

Please take a moment to reflect on the importance of our past colleagues.

Shana R. Spindler, PhD