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My mother is an artist, and my father is an aeronautical engineer. Often, I’ve struggled to find a balance between both worlds. I’m drawn toward the sciences, with its search for truth, and yet I feel pulled toward art and abstract beauty. It’s no surprise that I merge the two with a yearly arts issue.

Creating art is a vulnerable process. It’s an open window into someone’s mind, showing you what no one can see, unless the artist reveals it. The ability to portray complex ideas in a unique manner lends itself to both the artist and the scientist. Dr. Peter Krsko, former NICHD fellow, has devoted his career to this intersection between art and science. Founding Krsko Creative Group, he uses art to highlight scientific concepts for the community, both young and old. We give you the opportunity to peek inside the artist’s mind in this month’s Former Fellow Follow-up with Dr. Krsko.

Art comes in many forms: paintings, music, sculpture, dance, writing, and, yes, even comics. To the graduate and postdoctoral researcher, PhD Comics by Dr. Jorge Cham is a popular go-to for a little procrastination. In April, Dr. Cham offered his words of wisdom during the fellows’ retreat keynote. To learn about the underlying inspiration for PhD Comics, check out his talk recap by Dr. Courtney Kurtyka.

Last month, Jeremy Swan navigated us through the 3D world of virtual reality. This month, he brings it back to 2D and discusses judging criteria from the recent scientific retreat image competition. Check out his article in “The Arts” column.

We wrap up this issue with a helpful guide on joining NIH listservs, several announcements including an exciting award win for an NICHD fellow, and not-to-be-missed October events. 

Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD

Keep those questions, comments, and ideas coming. To contact our editor, please send your emails to