Fellows Advisory Committee Spotlight—Revived and Rejuvenated

The NIAID Fellows Advisory Committee June 2021

Credit: NIAID

When a newly revived NIAID Fellows Advisory Committee (FAC) formed in early 2019, its 10 fellows had a goal of helping NIAID support and provide avenues for highlighting its fellows community. Today, the FAC has grown into a group of 20 graduate students and postdocs who meet monthly to advise, plan, and execute projects to benefit NIAID fellows. Read about what the FAC has been up to, what’s next, and the upcoming NIAID 15th Annual Fellows Workshop.

From the NIAID Fellows Advisory Committee

By Leanne Low, Ph.D.
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research and NIAID Fellows Advisory Committee member

In conjunction with the NIAID training office, we have shared ideas and feedback resulting in the formation of a fellow-curated resource platform, the creation of a comprehensive directory of research and training resources, and the successful execution of two Annual Fellows Workshops. We’re working to help guide the resources and workshops being planned by NIAID training, with our present proposals looking toward providing career development opportunities and forming job search groups.

FAC members are currently hard at work with organizing the upcoming NIAID 15th Annual Fellows Workshop, to be held virtually on December 9 and 10. The mission of the workshop is to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of NIAID mission research, highlight the contribution of current fellows, and provide the opportunity for discussion of their research among their peers and with other scientists in the Institute and across NIH. We encourage the participation of not only fellows, but also NIAID and NIH principal investigators and other members of the NIH scientific community.  

Lined up for the plenary sessions are two impressive speakers: Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., from Yale School of Medicine, and Kei Koizumi, current acting director and chief of staff for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A former NIAID postdoc in the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Dr. Iwasaki is now a prominent viral immunologist providing her expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a strong advocate for women in STEM. Mr. Koizumi is a seasoned policy advisor, having previously served as a senior advisor on science policy for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as well as to the National Science and Technology Council under former President Obama.

This year, we are excited to announce that we will be increasing the number of fellows’ talks, allowing for six oral presentations by graduate students, postdocs, research fellows, and clinical fellows. For the first time, three postbac fellows will also have the opportunity to present their research as mini-talks. Fellows also have the opportunity to present posters during the second day of the workshop, where we hope to facilitate interactive discussion through the use of break-out rooms.

Bringing the NIAID fellows community together each year for a research-focused workshop not only showcases the broad array of high-caliber research conducted by fellows, but it creates a sense of community among the fellows from all corners of the IC.

NIAID fellows interested in presenting their research should prepare to submit their abstracts starting on July 1, 2021. General registration opens on September 10, 2021.

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