Early-Career Speaker Describes Genomic Antics of Ancient Vertebrate, Answers Questions from Undergrads

The videocast from our April 17 Early-Career Investigator Lecture with Jeramiah Smith is now available. Jeramiah, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky, gives a fascinating talk about his genomic research with sea lampreys. He then offers advice for students interested in biomedical research careers. I encourage you to take a look and share the video with students and postdocs in your labs and departments.

We launched this annual lecture series three years ago both to highlight the achievements of our early-career grantees, and to encourage undergraduates and other students to pursue careers in biomedical research. This year, a group of nearly 30 students from the ASCEND programLink to external web site at Morgan State University attended in person (and asked some outstanding questions!).

A group photo from the NIGMS ECI Lecture, caption below

Undergraduate students and three faculty members from Morgan State University attended the NIGMS Director’s Early-Career Investigator Lecture. The speaker, Jeramiah Smith, is on the far right. The students are part of a university program supported by the NIH Common Fund’s Diversity Program Consortium. Credit: Christa Reynolds.

One of Jeramiah’s tips underlies all scientific inquiry, though it might have surprised the students: “Embrace being wrong.” Rather than feeling discouraged when an experiment yields unexpected results, he encouraged students to try to understand what happened and why. That’s how science advances.

I hope you and your trainees find the lecture as inspiring as I did.


Following the lecture, Jeramiah Smith answered questions from NIGMS Director Jon Lorsch (top right) and students from Morgan State University. Credit: Chia Chi Chang.

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