Congratulations to all fellows who received the annual Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) for the 2020 competition. FARE is an NIH-wide competition that recognizes the important research of intramural fellows. We extend sincere congratulations to our 24 winners for their success and the honor they bring to the intramural programs of our institute. This year, NICHD had an excellent success rate with the highest number of applicants after NCI and NIAID. Also, a special thanks to everyone for sharing their research with the intramural community—90 NICHD fellows submitted an abstract! 

The FARE award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 11, 4 – 6 p.m. in Building 10, South Lobby, during the annual NIH Research Festival. To learn more about FARE, please visit

Below is the list of NICHD award recipients and their mentors, followed by advice for new trainees from some of our award-winning fellows, in honor of this month’s postbac-themed issue.

The 2020 FARE Recipients and Their Mentors

Joshua Pemberton (Balla)*

Abhilash Puthuvelvippel Appu (Mukherjee)

Dvir Gur (Bonifacino)

Lucia Bettedi (Lilly)

Carlos Guardia (Bonifacino)

Gergo Gulyas (Balla)

Morie Ishida (Bonifacino)

Ellen Francis (Zhang)

Tamal Sadhukhan (Mukherjee)

Yuki Shibata (Shi)

Marina Venero Galanternik (Weinstein)

Nicholas Ashton (Woodgate)

Sonia Robinson (Yeung)

Saroj Regmi (Dasso)*

Gali Ram Guterman (Marini)

Feng Li (Levin)

Suman Ghosal (Pacak)

Nicole Ellis (Machner)

Stephanie Lehman (Machner)

Mona Orr (Storz)*

Arya Vindu (Dever)

Saumitra Choudhury (Serpe)

Raffaella De Pace (Bonifacino)*

Ming-an Sun (Macfarlan)*

(*Previous winners)

Advice to Postbacs from NICHD Postdocs

“Never stop questioning. Ask questions about everything, don’t be shy! You will be surrounded by a lot of smart people all the time, so do not miss the opportunity to learn something new every day.” —Charly Guardia

“Science is exciting and fun, but at the same time it is demanding and requires a lot of sacrifice and resilience. One should choose a research field that one is really excited about and aim to excel in it. Put your best foot forward, be patient and everything else will follow.” —Sam Choudhury

“If possible, work on projects that you are passionate about; remember that there is always an opportunity to learn in challenging situations; keep the big picture in mind; and, in everything you do, be diligent and careful—double or even triple check things before hitting that submit button.” —Sonia Robinson

“Reading literature is just as important as spending your time at the bench. It’s really common for rookies in science to think why do I need to do this, what’s the meaning of this project? Your supervisors and postdoc mentors may give you the answers, but searching for papers related to your work will give you some new insight and understanding about the significance of projects.” —Feng Li 

“There is nothing that is not worth trying. If you never try, you will never know.” —Nicole Ellis