View a 508-compliant PDF of this issue here: NICHD_Connection_2014_01.pdf

Occasionally you come across a scientific publication that catches you by surprise. It may be the novelty of the data or the sheer difficulty of the methods. But sometimes, it’s the story behind the finding that jumps from the page. In this month’s “Hot Off the Press” column, we cover one such story from the Buonanno lab. Their recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) publication reminds us to keep an open mind in research.

I’m now going to jump topics and ask you a question. When you saw PNAS—a well-respected, prestigious journal—in the preceding paragraph, did you automatically form an opinion about the paper? I’ll be honest; when I saw PNAS, I assumed it was probably quite good (and yes, it was!). But is it fair to judge a paper based on its host journal?  Dr. Damian Dalle Nogare tackles this difficult question in a thought-provoking opinion piece, found on this issue’s front page. I urge each of you to think about this challenge and share your thoughts with the NICHD community. If you have a response, consider submitting a Letter to the Editor for publication in an upcoming issue (

We round out the first issue of 2014 with graduate student research highlights, a look at the year ahead in the “Thoughts of a Postbac” column, new pictures in the “Life Outside Lab” column, some tips to build your network by Dr. Yvette Pittman, and January’s announcements and events.

Happy New Year!

Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD

Please send your letters, questions, and comments to