The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Grantee Training Program Meeting was held in Bethesda, Maryland, in early July 2016. Meeting participants included four current and one former Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CATER) Training Program members, the CATER Program Director, Paul Monga, MD, and co-Director William Wagner, PhD. The CATER trainees who participated were:
- Jackie Russell (mentor: Paul Monga, MD)
- Lindsey Saldin (mentor: Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD)
- Abby Stahl (mentor: Bryan Brown, PhD)
- Christopher Mahoney (mentor: Kacey Marra, PhD)
Former CATER trainee, Dr. Chris Medberry, who is Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist, DePuySynthes Companies of Johnson and Johnson, spoke during the meeting regarding career options outside of academia.
Dr. Monga was invited to talk about the clinical internships, which are a required course for the CATER trainees. In the third year of the CATER program, trainees are required to do half-day/week x 8-12 weeks of any of the following internships:
- Clinical Rotation
- Academic Entrepreneurship
- Regulatory Internship
We are planning to further enhance this experience by offering short-term internships in industry as well. Dr. Monga’s presentation was well received and several other NIBIB-funded T32 programs wanted to know logistics for instituting such internships at their respective institutions. Dr. Monga also was part of the grant writing discussion panel for the trainees at this meeting.
Trainees’ comments about their meeting experience include:
“I enjoyed my time at the NIH NIBIB trainee grantees meeting. It was a great experience getting to see the NIH campus in Bethesda and to hear tips from program officers firsthand about how to write successful grant applications. There were several professional development lectures ranging from writing an individual development plan (IDP), and careers in industry, regulatory, patent law, and entrepreneurship. I also met other trainees who are doing similar work with macrophage subsets and may establish a collaboration to learn new techniques.”—Abby Stahl.
“The NIBIB meeting at the NIH allowed me to gain a better understanding of the workings of the NIH. I received useful advice about grant writing which will be very helpful to me in the future. Additionally, this meeting gave me a better perspective on career options open to PhDs and advice from experts on how to pursue those fields. Overall the NIBIB meeting was useful career development as I continue to pursue my PhD.”—Jackie Russell.
“Attending the NIBIB conference, which focused on traditional and alternate career paths in industry, entrepreneurship, regulatory, etc., encouraged me to seriously consider where I see myself in 5 years. I continued the conversation by talking to Pitt faculty upon returning. (Thank you, Julie Phillippi, PhD!) It was also helpful to hear the NIH’s current research interests, and in general to talk and meet with the NIH officers. (Take aways – They are willing to help, and talk to your program officer before submitting your grant!)” – Lindsay Saldin.
“I absolutely enjoyed my experience at the NIBIB Trainees Meeting in Bethesda, MD. It was nice to go to a meeting that had a different approach to the advancement of the attendees. I was able to use this opportunity to hear from the best and the brightest in our field about things they do and have done to excel at every step of their career. I thoroughly enjoyed the panel talk that discussed career options outside of academia as well as the professional development section. I was able to take specific lessons and ideas from this presentation and apply it to my research in the lab right away. I also found the networking session profoundly helpful in terms of what to look for and expect when I become a post-doc and eventually a principal investigator.” – Christopher Mahoney.