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Neurobiology Postdoc Awarded Communication Fellowship

By Eddy Ball
February 2009

Martin, Negin
Martin has also been honored with NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) awards in 2004 and 2007, the Elon-Huntington Hooker Graduate Fellowship award in 1999 and the Walter S. Bloor Award for outstanding Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry in 2001. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

This year, Negin Martin, Ph.D., a research fellow in the NIEHS Membrane Signaling Group, is taking a big step forward toward her career goals by participating in an advanced training opportunity in science communication. On January 5, Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) CEO and Chief Scientist John Myers, Ph.D., notified Martin of her selection as one of the organization's 2009 Science Communication Fellows. The award carries with it a stipend and 12 months of experience in a structured internship in science writing for a variety of audiences.

"I love to write," Martin said of the news, "and this is a wonderful opportunity to actually try to do something as a professional. I'll be working closely with a science editor who can help me improve my writing." A native of Iran, Martin said she will also appreciate the additional opportunities to develop her facility in her second language.

By the end of her fellowship, Martin will have a portfolio showcasing examples of her accomplishments communicating environmental health research to the media, policy makers and the public. She plans to build on her fellowship experience as part of her career development at NIEHS to move ultimately into a research post that combines time at the bench with science writing and editing.

Each month, the EHS fellows will identify two important new scientific findings within their areas of expertise, submit for critique and post summaries of those findings, and report on those findings during monthly conference calls. Martin and her colleagues will also write brief commentaries for the Media Reviews section of the EHS publication Environmental Health News ( Exit NIEHS.

As part of her fellowship experience, Martin will also enjoy several additional networking opportunities, including a two-day training meeting, which will likely be held in Washington. Following the year-long active training, she will continue to be an EHS Science Communication Fellow in the growing network of trained science communicators and serve as a mentor for succeeding fellows.

Martin is currently a research fellow in the NIEHS Laboratory of Neurobiology working with Principal Investigator David Armstrong, Ph.D., who was honored in 2007 as NIEHS Mentor of the Year. She recently completed five years as an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow and accepted an appointment as a research fellow.

Her research focuses on the molecular mechanism and effects of environmental toxins on the thyroid hormone system. She is particularly interested in outlining the molecular components of rapid thyroid hormone signaling in the brain.

Martin earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester and joined NIEHS after training for two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at Duke University.

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