Anna Zenno, MD
Anna Zenno, MD, is a clinical fellow in NIH’s Inter-Institute Endocrinology Fellowship Program. Her research interests include adult and pediatric obesity, bariatric surgery, type 2 diabetes, and transition of care from childhood to adulthood in endocrinology. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, graduating with honors in biology and society. She received her medical degree from Stony Brook University School of Medicine and completed her residency in the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and in general pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.
We asked Dr. Zenno a few questions about herself to get to know the person behind the degree. Introducing Dr. Zenno:
Where are you from, and what influenced you to go into medicine/research?
I currently consider Seattle, WA, to be home, but I grew up living in Brazil, Mexico, and various US cities. My interest in human health and disease and positive interactions with patients as a hospital volunteer influenced me to pursue a career in medicine.
Why did you choose this particular line of research/medicine?
I became interested in endocrinology during medical school after learning about the effect of hormones on multiple organ systems and the detective work that goes into appropriately diagnosing and managing various endocrine conditions. I also liked how endocrinologists take care of many patients with lifelong diseases, which appealed to me as a physician trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics.
Why the NIH? What brought you here?
I wanted excellent clinical training in both adult and pediatric endocrinology with exposure to a wide breadth of cases. I also wanted to learn research skills from world-renowned experts in the field.
What is your most memorable experience so far while at NICHD?
I’ve had many, but one that comes to mind is when I took care of a complex pediatric patient with hypercortisolemia, who presented as a diagnostic challenge based on his biochemical testing. However, our team was ultimately able to correctly diagnose him with Cushing’s disease using imaging and dynamic testing. He then had successful transsphenoidal surgery and went into remission. The experience was memorable because the patient and his family had traveled to NIH from across the globe, hoping to find an answer after seeing many physicians in their home country and were extremely grateful for our care.
During my time at NICHD, I have learned that the synergy between basic and clinical sciences is essential to grow the pool of scientific knowledge that helps patients lead healthy lives. The relationships between scientists and physicians begins during their training, where they can learn from each other and create professional associations that will grow and strengthen throughout their careers. But most importantly, these partnerships may have the ability to change lives.
At NICHD, clinical and basic science fellows are encouraged to learn and grow together, and we want to reflect this in the newsletter. To this end, we are excited to introduce our new “Clinical Corner” column. Each month, we’ll cover a topic relevant to clinical fellows or introduce one of our clinical fellows to the rest of the fellow population. If you have any items of interest you’d like covered, please send me an email (email@example.com), and we will incorporate your ideas into upcoming issues. A few planned topics include:
- Where to go after your fellowship
- Percent of time focused on patients versus research
- Work/life balance of a physician
- Leadership skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Job navigation
- Where to find information (both scientific and not)
- Financial independence
- NIH resources for physicians
In our inaugural installment of the “Clinical Corner,” we introduce Dr. Anna Zenno, a clinical fellow in NIH’s Inter-Institute Endocrinology Fellowship Program. If you see her on campus, be sure to say hi! She’s interested in learning about where other fellows are from and any translational research about obesity and diabetes at NIH.
I hope you enjoy the new column, and I look forward to the continued support of clinical fellows through the NICHD Office of Education.
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Please send questions, comments, and ideas to our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Anshika Jain, PhD
Anshika Jain, PhD
The NIH Career Symposium is being planned and is scheduled for May 8, 2020. Please mark your calendars!
Your Rights and Responsibilities as an NIH Trainee is a mandatory training for all IRTA, CRTA, and Vising Fellows. Trainees are required to be there on time and must attend the full training (if you are 10 minutes late or leave early, the attendance will not count). New fellows are required to attend the training within the first three months of arriving at NIH. More dates are being added for the training, into the month of March. The training is also offered at the NIEHS, Shady Grove, Fishers Lane, Baltimore, and Fredrick campuses. If you are interested in attending at any of these campuses, please contact Dr. Lori Conlan (email@example.com) for the dates.
The Office of Intramural Research announced an extension of maternity/paternity leave (excused absence with stipend) from eight weeks to 12 weeks for IRTA/CRTA and visiting fellows. This change in policy aligned with the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be effective immediately.
Abstract submissions for the 2021 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) are due March 12, 2020. The top 25% of submitted abstracts will receive travel awards towards scientific conferences or workshops within the US. Postdoctoral fellows who are contract employees and postbacs are not eligible for the competition.
The Visiting Fellows Committee has several openings, including communication team, social community, and country representative coordinator. If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Drs. Vrushali Agashe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Michael Buch (email@example.com).
The 16th Annual Meeting of Postdoctoral, Clinical, and Visiting Fellows and Graduate Students will take place on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. This year’s retreat will be held at The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
This meeting will allow you to step away from the lab for a day to network with your NICHD colleagues, participate in a career exploration session, and learn more about the recent developments in our intramural research programs. More details soon to follow.
Registration will open on Monday, April 6, at http://retreat.nichd.nih.gov.
Don’t forget to sign up early; space is limited to 110 fellows!
Are You A Budding Photographer? Check This Out
firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional details.The NICHD Office of Education is seeking a fellow with photography experience for the upcoming fellows retreat. Your photography of the event will appear in the retreat recap issue of The NICHD Connection this summer. If you are interested, please contact Nicki Swan (
Recruiting NICHD Postdoc & Graduate Student Judges for the 2020 NIH Postbac Poster Day!
Please contact Dr. Erin Walsh at email@example.com if you would like to help judge the NICHD postbaccalaureate fellows' posters in May. We would like to recruit a few postdoc and graduate student judges to visit about five posters each, and attend a meeting to select the three “best poster” winners for 2020. This can be a great learning experience for both the judges and postbac trainees!
NIH Grant Writing Course: Postponed Until Fall 2020
There are four spots available for NICHD fellows. If you would like to join this course, please email Dr. Erin Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate which NIH grant you are planning to apply for.
The 2021 FARE Competition for Intramural NIH is Now Open
An opportunity to win a $1500 travel award
The FARE (Fellows Award for Research Excellence) competition provides recognition for outstanding scientific research. The 2021 winners will receive a $1,500 travel award for a scientific meeting you plan to attend during the 2021 fiscal year. Eligible fellows may submit an abstract online February 12 through March 12, 5 p.m., at http://www2.training.nih.gov/transfer/fareapp.
The FARE 2021 competition is open to postdoctoral IRTAs, pre-IRTAs, visiting fellows, and other fellows with less than five years total of intramural postdoctoral experience. Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously based on scientific merit, originality, experimental design, and overall quality/presentation.
Find more information at https://www.training.nih.gov/felcom/fare.
Don’t Forget: NIH-Wide Mandatory Training for NIH Trainees
“Your Rights and Responsibilities as an NIH Trainee” is a mandatory training session for all NIH trainees led by Sharon Milgram, PhD, Director of the OITE. To register, you must have an OITE account, which can be created at https://www.training.nih.gov/register.
There are multiple date options, and you only need to attend one session. Bring your badge to verify your attendance. Note that the doors close ten minutes after the start of a session.
Ongoing Events Around Campus
NIH-Wide Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) Events
For more information and registration, please visit Upcoming OITE Events.
NIH Library Training and Events
For more information and registration, please visit the NIH Library Calendar.
In-person classes are held in the NIH Library Training Rooms, Clinical Center, Building 10, and webinars are held online.