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Finding Mentors and Building Networks - Research Excellence Mentorship Program

Discussion Group/Brown Bag: Academic Careers; Teaching/Mentoring; Networking Opportunities

Nov 09, 2018

Speaker(s): Ariel Levine Laura Koehly
This event is recommended for: Postbacs; Graduate Students; Postdocs/Fellows.

Let’s learn about finding exciting opportunities in new fields and utilizing our time as NIH trainees effectively. This month we will get a chance to hear from Drs. Ariel Levine and Laura Koehly about their inspiring career experiences that led them to embark on new fields and land on tenure track  and senior investigator positions at the NIH. Dr. Ariel Levine (Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Spinal Circuits and Plasticity Unit) will tell us about switching to new fields, balancing family and work and approaches for starting up a new lab. Dr. Laura Koehly (Chief of the Social and Behavioral Research Branch) will tell us how keeping cross-disciplinary collaboration channels could transform your career and how it would be best to leverage your experience at the NIH as a trainee before applying to faculty or industry positions. This event is a great opportunity for you to network, ask questions and learn from two outstanding principal investigators in an informal, relaxed setting.

 The next “Research Excellence Mentorship Program - Finding Mentors and Building Networks” event will be held on Friday, November 9th from 12-1pm in the Graduate Student Lounge (Building 10, Room 1N263). Feel free to attend only the first half of the session if there are other pressing commitments. Please contact Assaf Magen ( and Albert Sek ( with any questions.

 We welcome all NIH trainees to attend this event (Graduate students, Post-docs and Post-bacs); please register here.


About the speakers: 


Ariel Levine, M.D., Ph.D., is an Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator in the Spinal Circuits and Plasticity Unit (NINDS). Dr. Levine studies how the molecules, cells, and circuits of the spinal cord mediate normal behavior, and how they change and adapt to allow learning. Earlier in her carrier, Dr. Levine studied the role of TGF-ß signaling during embryonic development and later on identified a novel population of spinal neurons that encode “motor synergies” – modular neural programs for simple movements that are thought to underlie a wide variety of common behaviors. Dr. Levine received an undergraduate degree in biology from Brandeis University in 2000, a Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in 2008, and an M.D. from Cornell University in 2009. 

Laura M. Koehly, Ph.D., is chief and senior investigator in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (NHGRI). Dr. Koehly's research focuses on developing and applying social network methods to the study of complex social systems, such as families and communities. Dr. Koehly is interested in how genetic/genomic risk information can be used to activate network processes to improve families' health. She earned her Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Following graduate school, Dr. Koehly was a research associate at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and on the faculty at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.