Author: Dr. Dorit Zuk

Dorit is the acting deputy director of NIGMS. She also directs the NIGMS Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, which supports basic research on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance, gene expression, and development.

Posts by Dr. Dorit Zuk

Wanted: NIGMS Clinical Research Strategy Coordinator

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UPDATE: This position is now closed.

We’re recruiting for an outstanding individual to serve as the NIGMS clinical research strategy coordinator. The incumbent will report to our deputy director and assume a broad sphere of responsibilities that include:

  • Advising on clinical research priorities with the NIGMS scope
  • Providing guidance on the planning, development, implementation, evaluation, and optimization of NIGMS’ clinical research programs and initiatives as they affect a broad range of stakeholders, from the grantee community to the general public
  • Representing NIGMS in collaborations with closely aligned clinical research programs across the NIH, other federal agencies, and beyond, such as coordinating Institute-wide initiatives involving NIH and external partners
  • Participating in NIH-wide clinical research committees at a senior level
  • Working closely with NIGMS division directors to identify trans-divisional resources, potential synergies, and needs related to the support of clinical research
  • Performing program-specific responsibilities related to clinical research, including project scientist/coordinator roles for specific clinical studies
  • Serving as a knowledgeable resource for activities related to clinical research, such as biobanks, institutional review boards, and data safety and monitoring boards
  • Staying up to date with standards for ethical and business approaches and policies (e.g., informed consent, opt-outs, community consultation, commercialization) related to clinical research
  • Providing input and guidance for the Institute’s clinical research training programs that develop the next generation of clinical scientists
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Wanted: NIGMS Small Business Development Strategy Coordinator

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UPDATE: This position is now closed.

We’re recruiting for an outstanding individual to serve as the NIGMS small business development strategy coordinator. The incumbent will report to our deputy director and assume a broad range of responsibilities including:

  • Providing counsel and advice to NIGMS leadership on the planning, development, and implementation of our small business programs as they affect a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Serving as the Institute’s expert on matters related to new technology development by small biomedical businesses.
  • Serving as a liaison between NIGMS and the NIH Small Business Education and Entrepreneurial Development office, including coordinating the development of the NIGMS omnibus solicitation and cost cap waiver guidance topics.
  • Representing NIGMS in collaborations with closely aligned programs across NIH and federal agencies, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, to develop priorities and set goals for the NIGMS Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program. In particular, they will identify opportunities for synergies and strategic relationships with small business development programs across NIH and the federal government.
  • Serving as the central resource for NIGMS staff and extramural researchers for information on NIGMS small business development programs.
  • Developing, coordinating, and facilitating programs to provide training and mentoring for the biomedical small business community related to commercialization and entrepreneurship.
  • Facilitating interactions between the NIGMS-supported small business community and the private sector, as well as with external business development organizations.
  • Developing new small business-related initiatives appropriate for NIGMS, such as supporting commercialization of research in the NIGMS technology development and capacity building programs.
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How do I know if my work fits in the mission of NIGMS?

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Ninety percent of the applications to our Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators (known as the ESI MIRA program) that were submitted in October are about to undergo peer review. The remaining 10% were administratively withdrawn, mostly because the research proposed fell outside the NIGMS mission. This is comparable to the proportion that was withdrawn over the past 3 years.

Withdrawn applications represent a lot of wasted time and effort on the part of affected PIs and are the source of considerable frustration. So what can you do to minimize the chance of this happening to your ESI MIRA application in the future?

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Perspectives on Choosing the Best Research Organism for Your Scientific Question

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Among the research organisms discussed at the NIGMS workshop last September are (clockwise): Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl, credit: iStock), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, credit: see NIGMS Image and Video Gallery), Euprymna scolopes (bobtail squid, credit: Dr. Satoshi Shibata), and Platyhelminthes (planarian, credit: iStock). Among the research organisms discussed at the NIGMS workshop last September are (clockwise): Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl, credit: iStock), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, credit: see NIGMS Image and Video Gallery), Euprymna scolopes (bobtail squid, credit: Dr. Satoshi Shibata), and Platyhelminthes (planarian, credit: iStock).

Consistent with NIGMS’ mission to support a diverse portfolio of biomedically relevant basic research, we aim to support research that uses a wide range of research organisms (ROs). We see this approach as the best way to increase our understanding of life.

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Apply to SCISIPBIO: A Joint Initiative Between NIGMS and NSF to Support Research on the Science of Science and Innovation Policy

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We are pleased to announce the Science of Science Policy Approach to Analyzing and Innovating the Biomedical Research Enterprise (SCISIPBIO) Link to external web site program, a joint initiative between NIGMS and the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program Link to external web site in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The longstanding SciSIP program funds research designed to advance the scientific basis of science and innovation policy and is a leader in this field.

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Funding Opportunity for Development of Training Modules to Enhance the Rigor and Reproducibility of Biomedical Research

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It’s crucial that the results of NIH-supported biomedical research are reproducible, unbiased, and properly validated. Establishment and use of rigorous and reproducible approaches require appropriate and sustained training of researchers and students. In 2014, we announced a funding opportunity to develop, pilot, and disseminate training modules to enhance data reproducibility. The products of these grants are posted on the NIGMS website as they become available, together with other relevant training modules about conducting rigorous and reproducible research.

We’ve just reissued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support the development of additional training modules in three areas that build upon and extend those targeted through the previous FOA. The three new areas of emphasis are: 1) How scientific culture, organization, and incentives influence the rigor and reproducibility of biomedical research; 2) Good laboratory practices and record keeping; 3) Advanced experimental design and analysis.

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Wanted: Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch Chief

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UPDATE: The vacancy announcement for this position is now available and is open through February 7. Make sure you apply for the supervisory HSA position.

UPDATE: The vacancy announcement will be available beginning on January 29, 2018.

We’re recruiting for an outstanding individual to serve as branch chief within our Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology (GDB). This person will oversee the scientific and administrative management of the Developmental and Cellular Processes (DCP) Branch and will be responsible for advising, directing, and evaluating program activities for a portfolio of research grants in one of the branch areas.

The GDB Division supports research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance, gene expression, and development. The DCP Branch focuses on the genetic and biochemical pathways that cells utilize in development and in normal physiological processes. The research supported by the branch spans the spectrum from the genetic basis of development and cell function to biochemical signaling pathways that underlie normal cell physiology. Candidates should have expertise in any area of research supported by the branch. Familiarity with NIH extramural funding as an applicant, reviewer, or NIH scientific administrator is a plus, and outstanding written and oral communication skills are essential.

This position is included in the global recruitment for Health Science administrators which will only be open for a few days beginning on January 29, 2018. For additional information about this position, see the announcement on the NIGMS website. In preparing an application, Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS may offer other useful information.

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