Former NICHD Fellow Dr. Tasuku Honjo Receives Nobel Prize
For the full announcement and additional information, please visit the intramural research program website at http://ddir.nih.gov/Current_Issue.html.
Former NICHD fellow Dr. Tasuku Honjo shares this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. James Allison “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” Honjo is well known for his identification of Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1) and Activation-Induced cytidine Deaminase (AID). He was a postdoctoral research fellow under Dr. Phil Leder in NICHD from 1973 to 1974, staying on as a visiting fellow in 1975 and then again in 1977. Dr. Keiko Ozato in NICHD, who knew Honjo well during these years, noted that, in her opinion, Honjo’s stay in Leder’s lab likely helped to define his life-long research direction in the dynamics of immunoglobulin genes.
Honjo identified the PD-1 gene, the subject of his Nobel Prize, in Japan, but worked on its regulation at NIH and benefited from interactions with the larger immunology community. From 1992 to 1996, Honjo returned to the NIH as a Fogarty Scholar in Residence, living on campus and conducting research in various labs for three-month stints. In his summary statements from the Fogarty years, Honjo writes of his desire to understand whether PD-1 was expressed during the development of mouse embryos. So he spent time in the NICHD laboratories of Drs. Igor Dawid and Kathy Mahon to learn the in situ hybridization technique for a whole mouse embryo. He also interacted with a who’s-who of immunology at the NIH, if not the world — Ron Schwartz, Tom Waldman, and the late John Ashwell and Bill Paul. “Such interaction helped me enormously to decide the next direction of own research,” Honjo wrote in 1993. More recently, he has collaborated with Drs. Bob Crouch (NICHD) and Patricia Gearhart (NIA), among others.
Have You Told Us About Your Accomplishments This Year?
Every year, The NICHD Connection publishes a “Year in Review,” where we share the many accomplishments of NICHD fellows. Did you win a poster award at a conference? Or maybe you received a grant or accepted a new job offer. We’d love to recognize your great news! Please send a letter to our editor, at Shana.Spindler@gmail.com, with your accomplishment(s) from 2018, and we will include them in our December issue.
Applications Now Being Accepted for the 2019 NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP)
TTAP is a one-year program for postdocs to gain training and mentorship in biomedical invention development, commercialization and entrepreneurship.
The program is specifically designed to be completed during your postdoctoral training and requires a time commitment of 8-10 hours per week.
Previous TTAP ambassadors are employed as:
- Patent agents and technical specialists at law firms
- Senior associates in clinical and corporate contract resource management in academia
- Health science analysts in the federal government
For more information, including program requirements and how to apply, be sure to visit https://techtransfer.cancer.gov/aboutttc/ambassadors.
Please note that PI approval is required for acceptance into this program. The application deadline is Monday, December 17, 2018.
AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Summer Fellowship
Applications open October 16 - January 15!
From the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship website:
This highly competitive program strengthens the connections between scientists and journalists by placing advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate level scientists, engineers and mathematicians at media organizations nationwide. Fellows have worked as reporters, editors, researchers, and production assistants at such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, WIRED, and Scientific American.
For 10 weeks during the summer, the Mass Media Fellows use their academic training in the sciences as they research, write and report today's headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to non-specialists. Participants come in knowing the importance of translating their work for the public, but they leave with the tools and the know-how to accomplish this important goal.
For additional information about the program visit aaas.org/mmfellowship.
15th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium — Outstanding Mentor Award Nomination
From the NIH Office of Intramural Research and Education
Every year, the Symposium recognizes three outstanding mentors for his/her leadership and dedication to his/her graduate students. To nominate your mentor, please write a brief nomination letter (1-2 pages) describing why your mentor should receive the GPP Outstanding Mentor Award. Nominations are due November 26, 2018 at 5PM!
You may wish to consider how your mentor has played a role in the following areas:
- Your ability to conduct science (critical evaluation skills, experimental design, etc.)
- Your ability to communicate scientifically (written and oral)
- Career development
- Leadership/mentorship in the lab
- Scientific responsibility
15th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium — Graduate Certificates
Are you graduating soon or did you graduate in 2018? Every year, graduating students are recognized for their accomplishments and awarded a certificate by the GPP. The certificates are presented at the symposium by Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director of the Office of Intramural Research and Education. Submit the certificate form so we can congratulate you for your success! Graduates who are unable to attend the ceremony on February 21, 2019, can make arrangements to have the certificates mailed to them.
The deadline to register for certificates this year is November 30, 2018. Submissions made after this date will have to wait until the next cycle.
NICHD Fellows Advisory Committee: Seeking New Members!
The Office of Education formed an advisory committee in 2016, and we are seeking several more dedicated members to help us develop and initiate academic support programs for the institute. Both domestic and visiting fellows are needed. We want to achieve a broad representation, culturally and academically, so we can address the needs of all our trainees at NICHD. The committee meets monthly to exchange ideas and informally discuss ways we can enhance and tailor the training experience within the NICHD intramural program.
Some potential topics for our committee are how to:
- Increase the participation for training activities
- Expose fellows to various careers in science
- Identify teaching opportunities and internal and external research funding mechanisms
- Establish a structure for sharing scientific and career resources within the institute
*New this year, the advisory committee will also steer the 15th Annual NICHD Fellows’ Retreat, to be held in Spring 2019.
This includes developing the agenda/program, inviting speakers, reviewing abstracts, selecting fellow/student presenters, and moderating some of the sessions—it’s a great service opportunity, plus you’ll get to be part of the team that plans our biggest annual event for fellows!
Don’t miss this opportunity to serve your intramural NICHD community.
The committee meets once a month on Thursdays, from 3 to 4 p.m. Upcoming dates listed below:
- November 8
- December 6
Please contact Dr. Erin Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining the group.
Study in France with Inserm Exchange Program
NICHD has established an exchange with Inserm (Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale) in France, which provides a unique opportunity for American and French scientists to obtain postdoctoral training with French and American mentors, respectively.
We will train one fellow in DIR for a two-year period and send one “graduating” postdoctoral fellow from NICHD (visiting fellows are eligible) to a participating Inserm lab in France, for what essentially would be a second postdoc. To facilitate strong research collaborations between NICHD and Inserm, there will also be an opportunity for the awardees’ mentors to visit, in both directions.
Our projected start date for trainees, for both institutes, is June 3, 2019.
If you are at the end of your training and may be interested in this program, please let the Office of Education know as soon as possible so we can work through the application process together.
NICHD fellows received an email containing the application instructions, including a list of nine Inserm laboratories that participate in the program. Applications are due to Dr. Erin Walsh (email@example.com) by Monday, December 31, 2018.
Business Card Printing Now Available Through the Office of Education
The Office of Education is offering business card printing for all NICHD fellows. Along with the official NICHD logo, cards can be customized to display your name and title/position, laboratory section or affinity group, and contact information. Please email Ms. Carol Carnahan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.