View a 508-compliant PDF of this issue here: NICHD_Connection_2011_08.pdf

The NICHD Fellows Committee met on July 12, 2011 to discuss future activities and opportunities for the NICHD fellow community. The agenda included workshop proposals, new article ideas for The NICHD Connection, suggestions for NICHD fellow socials, and 2012 NICHD Fellows Retreat planning.

The postbac course offered in the fall is signing up teachers now. Given the importance of providing instruction about effective teaching to postdocs who are considering academic careers, a teaching workshop is being planned for the coming months. This training will help ensure success of the postbac course as well as enhance postdoc career development. The course director for 2011 is Dr. Yvette Pittman, from the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Dever.

After some discussion, the committee agreed that walking to downtown Bethesda for lunch gatherings or happy hour may be a bit limiting for fellows who are on a tight schedule during the day. Therefore, a series of brown bag lunch sessions will be planned over the coming months instead. The committee would also like to plan a bowling get-together for fellows.

Megan Sampley ( needs suggestions for patent law professionals who can speak to interested fellows about careers in intellectual property and patent law—for the (attempted) revival of the Intellectual Property and Patent Law Interest Group.

On a final note, Kevin Francis (, our NICHD basic sciences representative for NICHD and to FelCom, is looking for committee members to help plan the 2012 NICHD Fellows retreat. Please contact him if you are interested.

The next NICHD Fellows committee meeting will be Tuesday, October 11, 2 p.m. Remember, the second Tuesday at 2! Location to be determined.