Dr. Erin Walsh, formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Woodgate, was appointed as the associate director of the NICHD Office of Education on March 18, 2019. Dr. Walsh served in a supporting role to the office starting in January 2018 and joined as a full-time program manager in June 2018. Prior to this, she was an active member of the NICHD intramural community, serving on the Fellows Advisory Committee and as chair of the 14th Annual NICHD Retreat Steering Committee. In addition to her research experience, Dr. Walsh has participated in the NIH-Colgate University Study Program since 2015, as an adjunct instructor for their upper-level biochemistry course.
Before joining NICHD for her postdoc training, Dr. Walsh received a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, summa cum laude, from Binghamton University (State University of New York), and a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from Penn State University.
Dr. Yvette Pittman, Director of the NICHD Office of Education, comments:
It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dr. Walsh over this past year and a half! She understands all of the professional challenges that young scientists face today, and her advice to our fellows is thoughtful, honest, and well suited—always thinking of what’s best for their careers. Not only has she offered a wealth of support to our fellow population, she has also supported the office in many ways administratively. I look forward to her professional growth in the field of science education, and I’m confident Dr. Walsh will excel in this leadership role.
We welcome Dr. Walsh to the Office of Education and look forward to her work in supporting the training needs of intramural scientists, fellows, and students at all levels. Her experience with academic support programs, mentorship, career guidance, and grants administration will enable Dr. Walsh to perform the multiple duties associated with her new role in the institute.
A few words from Dr. Erin Walsh:
Although I enjoyed my time as a bench scientist, I found I was happiest in mentorship and service-oriented roles. Whether training students and postbacs in the lab, or teaching biochemistry to a small group of undergraduates, these types of professional experiences have always left me feeling more fulfilled. Working closely with the Office of Education during my own postdoctoral training, I was able to consider various career options, both at and away from the bench, to find a path that matched my interests and passions. My excitement as I begin my new role as associate director boils down to the following: regardless of your training level, research and careers in the sciences can be extremely challenging—for me, what is even more rewarding than my own experimental accomplishments, is being able to help young scientists find their way.
As associate director of the Office of Education, I look forward to serving intramural scientists while creating and delivering professional development activities. This includes seminars and workshops on public speaking, job interviewing, grantsmanship, graduate or professional school applications, and one-on-one career and professional school guidance and orientation sessions for NICHD fellows.