Environmental Factor

September 2011


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Postdocs receive Gordon Conference travel awards

By Ian Thomas
September 2011

Mamta Behl, Ph.D.

Behl showcased her work, titled “Peripheral Neuropathy in Rats Exposed to Styrene Acrylonitrile Trimer.” (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

In recognition of their outstanding work at NIEHS and NTP, postdocs Zhengyu Yin, Ph.D., Huiming Gao, Ph.D., and Mamta Behl, Ph.D., have earned travel awards to present posters of their work at the Gordon Research Conference(http://www.grc.org/home.aspx) Exit NIEHS (GRC), an international gathering held Aug. 7-12 in Andover, N.H.

For more than 75 years, the Gordon Research Conference has offered a variety of uniquely informal meetings each year, where leading minds from around the globe can come together to discuss their work and identify future challenges facing their respective fields. For some, however, it's also a chance to learn new things.

Reflections on the Gordon experience

“The Gordon Conference was a remarkable opportunity,” noted Gao, a member of the NIEHS Neuropharmacology Group.(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/ltp/neuropharm/staff.cfm) “Working in such a relaxed and informal setting with both experts and peers was a fantastic experience, and I'm really grateful to NIEHS and the GRC staff for the chance to attend.”

“As a toxicologist in training, the Gordon Conference was a great opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and broaden my knowledge of a number of areas that were previously unfamiliar to me,” explained Yin, a visiting fellow with the Institute's Cell Biology Group(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/lrb/cell-bio/staff.cfm). “Therefore, conferences like these only serve to better prepare me for my future role as a regulatory toxicologist.”

With 460 conferences and seminars slated for 2011 and 2012, GRC meetings will be held in California, Texas, North Carolina, and several states in New England, while international meetings will take place in Italy, China, and Switzerland. Still, for some young scientists, there really is no place like home.

“As a trainee at the NTP, I work with a brilliant and dynamic team of scientists who have contributed heavily to my career in this field,” explained Behl(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/tob/behl/index.cfm), a research fellow in the NTP Toxicology Branch. “The competitive research, constructive criticisms, and great team spirit here provide a phenomenal environment, whereby fellows can expand their understanding of toxicology, grow their knowledge of toxicology testing, and hone their skills as up and coming scientists.”

(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

Huiming Gao, Ph.D.

Gao's work examined the role of neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Zhengyu Yin, Ph.D.

Yin's study could lead to new therapeutic approaches for radiotherapy and other anticancer procedures. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)



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