The NICHD Division of Intramural Research is committed to train, support, and sustain a diverse cohort of individuals, including those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in science.

Established in 2011, the NICHD Developing Talent Program provides a superlative research and mentoring experience to scholars while tailoring an academic and professional development plan to the needs of the individual. Read below to learn more about our current NICHD Developing Talent Program participants and each of their goals as a Developing Talent Scholar.

Rachel Dansereau

Rachel Dansereau

Photo courtesy of Rachel Dansereau

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
NICHD advisor: Dr. Ajay Chitnis

Undergraduate school: Colgate University
Specialty interests: developmental biology
Hobbies: reading, binge-watching TV shows

Rachel is generating various transgenic zebrafish lines to control the migration of the primordium.

She would love to continue her educational career by pursuing a PhD and eventually becoming a professor.

I hope to increase my professional network and solidify different laboratory techniques.

Kyla Roland

Kyla Roland

Photo courtesy of Kyla Roland

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
NICHD advisor: Dr. Henry Levin

Undergraduate school: Davidson College
Specialty interests: viral pathology, bacterial pathology, and genomics
Hobbies: reading, hiking and nature, cooking, and music

Kyla examines how the endogenous Tf2 transposable elements regulate gene networks in response to stress in S. Pombe. Her immediate plan is to go to graduate school following her postbac.

I want to learn about more career options and pathways, and more about the different types of PhD programs that I can apply to.

Jacob Olondo Kuba

Jacob Olondo Kuba

Photo courtesy of Jacob Olondo Kuba

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
NICHD advisor: Matthias Machner, PhD

Undergraduate school: University of Maryland, College Park
Specialty interests: molecular/cell biology, neuroscience, molecular dynamic simulations, endocrinology
Hobbies: photography, cooking, soccer, weight training

Jacob is studying the host-pathogen interactions between Legionella pneumophila and Acanthamoeba castellani through an artificial evolution experiment. He is currently planning on applying to medical school next year (2021).

I would like to gain valuable skills needed for becoming a good researcher and explore different disciplines.

Esther Kwarteng

Esther Kwarteng

Photo courtesy of Esther Kwarteng

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
NICHD advisor: Dr. Jack Yanovski

Undergraduate school: Duke University
Specialty interests: child health, health disparities
Hobbies: dancing

Esther is studying the characterization of eating behaviors as well as understanding the interactions between psychological and social factors that result in the development and maintenance of obesity in youth. She plans to attend medical school following her postbaccalaureate research training.

As a Developing Talent Scholar, my goal is to make my NICHD experience as fruitful and meaningful as possible through the access of unparalleled mentorship and professional development.