“If somebody is going to be [an] expert scientist in years to come, even if they are not going to specialize in bioinformatics, they need to be fluent in it.” This advice was given by former NICHD Director Alan E. Guttmacher, MD, during a 2011 interview about scientific trends and training. Over a decade later, it seems to me that his insight was, and remains, prudent.

In the years since that interview, we’ve published several articles about bioinformatics. These include Former Fellows Follow-ups with those who have entered bioinformatics-related careers as well as articles about the complexities of collecting, managing, and sharing big data. This month, we add to that list with advice on bioinformatics training as a biologist, summarized from a recent talk by Ryan Dale, PhD, senior scientist and head of the NICHD Bioinformatics and Scientific Programming Core.

And what issue of The NICHD Connection would be complete without honoring a few fellows for a job well done? This is, after all, a fellows’ newsletter.

First, congratulations to all NICHD recipients of the 2024 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE). I look forward to announcing this list every year to recognize the breadth and depth of the institute’s research projects conducted by fellows.

Second, our summer interns also deserve applause for their hard work this summer. Their projects—which most likely included a bit of bioinformatics—were featured during the in-person NIH Summer Poster Days last month. Check out a few pics from the event in this month’s Life Outside Lab column.

Whatever your main interests, be they bioinformatics or bioengineering, Dr. Guttmacher also said to “pay attention to the fact that the future of science is interdisciplinary work.” You’re at one of the best places in the world to explore as many fields of science as possible. You’ll find ample upcoming workshops and learning opportunities in this month’s announcements and events, and don’t forget to read The Rep Report, which now includes a new page for highlighting selected same-month FelCom activities.

Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD

This newsletter is for NICHD fellows and by NICHD fellows. We want to hear from you! Please send your questions, comments, and ideas to our editor at shana.spindler@nih.gov.