Mor Alkaslasi Receives 2022 Graduate Student Research Award

Mor Alkaslasi with her hair in a low ponytail and green trees behind her

Mor Alkaslasi (Le Pichon Laboratory)

Graduate student Mor Alkaslasi was selected as a 2022 NIH Graduate Student Research Award (NGSRA) recipient in the category of Neuroscience, Behavioral Sciences, and Psychology at the 18th annual Graduate Student Research Symposium, held February 16–17, 2022. Mor joined the NICHD as a student at Brown University through the NIH Graduate Partnership Program. She studies molecular mechanisms of neuronal injury and their roles in neuropathic pain in the laboratory of Dr. Claire Le Pichon. Please join us in congratulating Mor on this wonderful achievement.

NICHD DIR Welcomes Our Newest Developing Talent Scholars

Established in 2011, the NICHD Developing Talent Scholar Program exposes young trainees to Division of Intramural Research activities, committees, retreats, forums, and workshops on team science, management, and grant writing. Each Scholar also has the opportunity to work in an NICHD lab, contributing to the lab’s research initiative. Please join us in welcoming our three new 2022 Developing Talent Scholar Program awardees:

  • Layla Ahmadi (Mentor: Paul E. Love, MD, PhD)
  • Diana Augustin (Mentor: Stephan Gilman, ScD)
  • Samra Beyene (Mentor: Timothy J. Petros, PhD)
  • Tiara Tillis (Mentor: Gisela Storz, PhD)

    • This is Tiara's second year as a Developing Talent Scholar.

Fellows Recruitment Incentive Award (FRIA) Continues to Grow NICHD’S Talent Pool

Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD, has been awarded the 2022 FRIA award for his support of postdoc Dr. Diana Elizondo. Dr. Elizondo studies the role of candidate adipose tissue myeloid cell markers in the regulation of low-grade chronic inflammation associated with obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

The objective of the NICHD FRIA is to encourage investigators in the Division of Intramural Research to recruit a diverse group of individuals, including those from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, for potential postdoctoral fellowship appointments in NICHD laboratories.

Congrats to the 2022 Virtual Postbac Poster Day Winners

Congratulations to all NICHD postbacs who participated in the 2022 Virtual Postbac Poster Day competition on April 26–28, 2022. A total of 50 NICHD postbacs joined the event! Teams composed of graduate students, postdocs, and NIH scientific staff scored the posters and student presentations for all postbac participants.

Announcing the NICHD postbacs (and their mentors) who received a top 20% score:

  • Austin Gable (Claire LePichon, PhD and Mor Alkaslasi)
  • Daniel Tetreault (Gisela Storz, PhD and Philip Adams, PhD)
  • Hayli Spence (Andres Buonanno, PhD and Eastman Lewish, PhD)
  • Jacob Olondo Kuba (Matthias Machner, PhD and Katherine Bonnington, PhD)
  • Jacqueline Welday (Andres Buonanno, PhD and Eastman Lewish, PhD)
  • Keith Ameyaw (Brant Weinstein, PhD and Leah Greenspan, PhD)
  • Layla Ahmadi (Paul Love, MD, PhD and Teri Hatzihristidis, PhD)
  • Sabrina Bouchard (Matthias Machner, PhD and Stephanie Lehman, PhD)
  • Sara Johnson (Amir Gandjbakhche, PhD and Emma Condy, PhD)

Lab Coats Required!

Attention all fellows: wearing a lab coat while performing laboratory operations isn’t optional—it’s required!

The Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) will be carrying out unscheduled visits of our labs to assess lab coat usage and will be reporting both compliant and non-compliant labs to the OSD and the NICHD Safety and Health Committee.

Please ensure compliance with this NIH regulation as this affects our Lab Safety Score with DOHS. We have an excellent record and would like to maintain it as well as be safe.

Illustration of a white lab coat

Do You Have an Outstanding Mentor?

The time has come for you to nominate your fellow or PI for the 2022 NICHD Mentor of the Year Awards. This is your chance to recognize an individual whose mentoring has made a difference in your life at the NICHD!

Below is the link to obtain information about the NICHD’s two annual intramural Mentor of the Year Awards, one for a fellow and one for an investigator. Please submit your nomination form and a 500-word (maximum) narrative electronically to Ms. Veronica Harker (

The submission deadline is Friday, July 29, 2022.

Please contact the Office of Education if you have any questions about the nomination instructions or selection process. Information available at: Mentor of the Year Awards

Mentor of the Year Awards poster, content recreated in previous text

SAVE THE DATE: Informational Session for 2022 PRAT Applicants (Virtual)

Wednesday, July 13, 1:00 p.m.
Led by Dr. Erin Walsh

The NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program supports postdoctoral fellowships within the NIH Intramural Research Program. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States with no more than two years of postdoctoral experience at NIH by the time of appointment to the PRAT program. More information about the program can be found at

Postdoc applicants must apply with the NIH Fi2 funding mechanism, and all applications must be submitted via If you are planning to apply, the Office of Education is offering this session to discuss in detail how to prepare for the application submission, and more importantly, provide you with some valuable documents.

Please email Ms. Veronica Harker ( if you plan to attend.

SAVE THE DATE: Speaking About Science—Giving Virtual Scientific Talks

Thursday, July 14, 1:00 p.m.
Led by Scott Morgan

The “Speaking about Science” webinar, led by public speaking coach Scott Morgan, offers tips on scientific storytelling, speaking in plain language while addressing the human health relevance for your research, and creating effective visual aids. Given the recent transition to online platforms, Scott will also focus on ways you can enhance and modify your talks for virtual presentations.

Please contact Ms. Veronica Harker ( to register for this virtual workshop. Trainees at all levels (including summer interns) are encouraged to attend!

NIH UNITE: Ending Structural Racism (ESR) Activities

The NIH UNITE initiative was established to identify and address structural racism within the NIH-supported and the greater scientific community.

The ESR Intranet includes various resources like the Toolkit, Newsletter, FAQs, and other information.

UNITE Milestones and Progress and the Co-Chairs Corner (public ESR webpages) are other avenues to stay informed on UNITE efforts.