The NICHD Mentor of the Year Award is an opportunity to recognize individuals whose mentoring has made a difference in someone’s life at the NIH. The two mentoring award categories are fellows and investigators. Nominations were invited from all trainee groups in NICHD, and each nominator had to write a statement, on which the selection committee based its decisions. The selection committee included NICHD clinical and postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and postbac fellows.
For the fellow mentoring award, the three finalists included:
- Dr. Amanda Dettmer, nominated by a postbac fellow, Lauren Wooddell
- Dr. Shlomo Krispin, nominated by a postbac fellow, Margaret Burns
- Dr. Amy Palin, nominated by a postbac fellow, Miles Oliva
The 2016 Fellow Mentor of the Year winner is Dr. Shlomo Krispin.
Excerpts from Dr. Krispin’s nomination:
Through my past year at NIH, he has provided an excellent model of how to be a successful scientist, coworker, and parent. I believe that he exemplifies the mentorship role of a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH.
My experience as a postbac has been shaped by his support and guidance. This has been crucial in my development as a scientist because he encourages me to experience the entire research process firsthand.
He has always made my training a priority, and mistakes are treated as learning experiences, to inform our next experiment, and not a loss of time.
He provides a great example of how work/life balance requires commitment and flexibility. I aspire to be both a researcher and a parent, and I hope to find the balance he has displayed. He is a hardworking and compassionate mentor whose example I hope to emulate in my career. He has taught me important life skills in and outside of the lab and I am grateful to be a student of his.
For the investigator award, there were three finalists for this award:
- Dr. Julian Lui (Staff Scientist), nominated by a postbac fellow, Michal Ad
- Dr. Mary Dasso, nominated by a postdoctoral fellow, Saroj Regmi
- Dr. Annika Paukner (Staff Scientist), nominated by a postbac fellow, Emily Slonecker
The 2016 Investigator Mentor of the Year winner is Dr. Julian Lui.
Excerpts from Dr. Lui’s nomination:
His goals were for me to develop an understanding of the scientific process, perform a wide literature search, and see an experiment through from start to finish. Because of his patience, love of teaching, and passion for science, I really feel that he used this experience to teach me many important skills needed to design an experiment.
Another area I feel that he excels in is his role as a leader. He has played a large role in unifying all of the research group members. And he stresses communication beyond our scientific work, and has created a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere in our lab.
Overall, he has helped guide me on the path to becoming a very well rounded scientist, and I believe that my professional growth under his guidance will aid me in my future studies as a medical student, as well as my work as a researcher.