I grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, also located in Murfreesboro, with a degree in biology. Having developed a strong interest in studying gene expression mechanisms, I headed to Lexington, Kentucky, a gorgeous town surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and horse farms, to attend graduate school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. After joining the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, I conducted my dissertation research in Dr. Sabire Ozcan’s laboratory where we studied gene transcription mechanisms for the Ins2 gene in mice. I came to the NIH in 2011 to work in Dr. Karl Pfeifer’s group to research transcription mechanisms of the Igf2/H19 imprinted gene cluster.
While progressing through my professional training, I’ve become passionate about reforming and improving science education and training at all levels ranging from primary school to the postdoctoral level. I worked as adjunct faculty at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, and I’m a teaching fellow at the University of Maryland in the Integrated Life Sciences program, where I work with other talented NICHD postdocs to develop more effective active learning teaching methods for an honors cell biology course.
I’m very excited to serve as the basic science representative for the NICHD, and I’ve recently begun working with Dr. Yvette Pittman on a professional development workshop that we are planning to offer in the coming months. I would very much like to hear from the community of trainees in the NICHD about further developing and creating professional development opportunities as well as concerns about training here in the NICHD. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Institutes and Centers (IC) representative is a postdoctoral-level fellow who serves on the NICHD Fellows Committee on behalf of the institute’s fellow population. In general, most institutes have one basic science representative and one clinical representative. Representative appointments last for 12 months and can be renewed for an additional year. The rep also serves on the NIH-wide FelCom on our behalf.
Responsibilities of the IC representative include attending all scheduled FelCom meetings, participating on a subcommittee, disseminating information to the fellows in the IC, communicating concerns to the committee from the IC’s fellows, and coordinating the distribution of information via subcommittees. In NICHD our representatives also work closely with the Director of the Office of Education to plan events specific to our trainees.
If you would like more information about serving on the NIH Fellows Committee, please contact Brenda Hanning at email@example.com.