A look back at Intramural NICHD fellow accomplishments during 2023

Please submit your accomplishments for publication in the newsletter throughout the year to shana.spindler@nih.gov.

The Fellows’ Annual Meeting

The NICHD Office of Education hosted a fully IN-PERSON 18th Annual Meeting for Postdoctoral, Clinical & Visiting Fellows, Graduate Students & Postbacs on October 27, 2023. The day included:

  • A keynote lecture on the twists and turns of a scientific and clinical career by Guoyang Luo, MD, PhD, a maternal-fetal medicine physician at INOVA Health System and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Ten career-focused Q&A tables with representatives from research programs in academia and government, jobs in industry, science administration, and teaching programs
  • An NICHD Office of Health Equity presentation
  • Featured five-minute scientific talks by NICHD fellows

Check out a full recap of the day’s events according to three different training level perspectives in this issue.


NIH-Wide Recognition

Congratulations to the 11 NICHD fellows who received a 2024 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), an NIH-wide competition that recognizes the important research of intramural fellows. NICHD had the 4th highest number of applicants and awardees! See a complete list of NICHD winners in the September 2023 issue.

Congratulations to the 16 NICHD postbacs who received an Outstanding Poster Award for scoring within the top 20% of all posters at the 2023 Virtual Postbac Poster Day, held April 19–20, 2023. See a complete list of NICHD winners in the June 2023 issue.

NICHD had five new K99 recipients this year:

  • Shu Yang, PhD (Lilly lab)
  • Jarred Whitlock, PhD (Chernomordik lab)
  • Leah Greenspan, PhD (Weinstein lab)
  • Joyce Thompson, PhD (Rocha lab)
  • Diana Elizondo, PhD (Yanovski lab)

Velencia Witherspoon, PhD (Basser lab) departs for the R00 phase of the K99 grant this year.

Julian Rey, PhD (Basser lab) and Jong Park, PhD (Weinstein lab) began their NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Fellowship in September 2023.

Adam Caccavano, PhD (McBain lab) received a Seed Grant from the Center on Compulsive Behaviors (CCB) in collaboration with Katherine Savell, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Neuronal Ensembles in Drug Addiction Section of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Eastman Lewis, PhD (Buonanno lab) received a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant.

Jong Park, PhD (Weinstein lab) placed first place overall at annual NIH-wide 2023 Three-minute Talks (TmT) Competition, held June 22, 2023. Check out the I am Intramural blog post for a recap of the event.

Wei-Lun Huang (Gandjbakhche lab) received an Elevator Pitch Competition award at the 19th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium on February 15, 2023.


NICHD Award Programs

Mor Alkaslasi (Le Pichon lab) and Ryan Dale, PhD (Bioinformatics and Scientific Programming Core) received the 2023 Mentor of the Year Awards for Fellow and Investigator, respectively.

Regina Stasser de Ganzalez (Banerjee lab) and Sarah Alsuleiman (Machner lab) joined NICHD as Developing Talent Scholars awardees. Samra Beyene (Petros lab) continued her second year in the program.

Sarah Sheppard, MD, PhD, MS, received the 2023 FRIA award for her support of postdoc Luciana Daniela Garlisi Torales, MD.

Four fellows received an Intramural Research Fellowship for fiscal year 2024:

  • Aurora Kraus, PhD (Weinstein lab)
  • Sanjana Sundararajan, PhD (Dasso lab)
  • Tanmay Mondal, PhD (Banerjee lab)
  • Matthew Manion, PhD (Petros lab)

Program Specific Awards

Shreeta Chakraborty, PhD (Rocha lab) received the best platform presentation award by a trainee at the 44th annual David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis at the end of August.

Leah Greenspan, PhD (Weinstein lab) was featured as a Pathway to Independence Fellow in the September 2023 issue of Development.

Lingyu Bao, PhD (Shi lab), and Zhaoyi Peng, PhD (Shi lab), received an Outstanding Trainee Poster award at the American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting, September 27–October 1, in Washington, D.C.

Yuta Tanizaki, PhD (Shi lab) was one of two recipients of the 2023 Incentive Award from the Japanese Society of Comparative Endocrinology.

Elena Evans (Marini lab) was selected as a Reviewer’s Choice Abstract Awardee at the 2023 American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., held November 1–5.


A big THANK YOU to our 2023 newsletter contributors:

Hyo Won Ahn, Libby Barksdale, Julie Bocetti, Katherine Lamb Brooks, Mick Craig, Ryan Dale, Julia Grafstein, April Johnston, Nita Kanney, Peyton Lee, Leah Meuter, Thien Nguyen, Raghib Nihal, Jeremie Oliver, Leah Pappalardo, Jong Park, Ashley Pratt, Julian A. Rey, Mallory Smith, Shana Spindler, Nichole Swan, Joyce Thompson, Erin Walsh, Jarred M. Whitlock, Zélia Worman, Shu Yan