June 21, 2013
Frankie D. Heyward, a Neuroscience PhD Candidate in Dr. David Sweatt’s research laboratory and a NORC Pre-doctoral Fellow, attended the NIDDK's Network of Minority Health Research Investigators (NMRI) 11th Annual Workshop. This 2-day event was held in Bethesda, Maryland on April 18th-19th. In short, the primary function of the NMRI is to encourage research scientists from underrepresented communities to conduct biomedical research in the fields of diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, digestive diseases, nutrition, kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. For more information regarding the NMRI see the following link: http://nmri.niddk.nih.gov/
Though not yet qualified to be a member of the NMRI, as he has not yet obtained his PhD, Frankie Heyward was welcomed to attend the NMRI workshop as a guest. According to Frankie, “attending the event was a phenomenal opportunity to meet, and build relationships with, many brilliant minds, all at different stages of their scientific careers. During the workshop I had the pleasure of hearing talks that were challenging, edifying, and inspiring. The topics discussed ran the gamut: career development; the NIH grant review process, tips for transitioning to leadership/ administrative positions in academia, strategies for conflict resolution, how to write a stellar research publication, etc. The wisdom imparted to me will certainly inform my decision making as I advance my research career.”
During the workshop Frankie participated in the ‘Marco Cabrera Poster Session’ where he presented his research on the molecular basis of obesity-induced memory impairment in mice. For his outstanding research presentation, the NMRI honored Frankie with an “Excellence in Research” award.
When asked if he would attend the workshop in the future, Frankie replied “I received a very warm reception at this workshop, and I enjoyed myself immensely—I certainly look forward to attending the workshop in the future as a member of the NMRI.” Frankie closed by saying “the NMRI is a tremendous resource, and I encourage interested persons to get involved with this exceptional cadre of biomedical researchers.”