Skip to Content

In Their Own Words

The NIH Experiences and Career Paths of Prior NIH Trainees

In this series, past and current NIH summer interns and postbacs from disadvantaged backgrounds and groups underrepresented in the sciences will talk about their research and share insights into what it's like to work at the NIH. They will also discuss their educational and career journeys, including their paths to the NIH and the challenges they faced along the way. (Recommended for high school students, community college students, and current undergraduates, especially those interested in future NIH internship opportunities.)

All sessions will run from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT).



June 25, 2021: Register

Larissa Ault is a UGSP scholar and postbac at the NIH. She currently works on Computational Biology at the Vaccine Research Center in the laboratory of Daniel Douek, MD, PhD. Larissa will be starting her PhD in Molecular Engineering at the University of Washington this fall. Her career goals, following her PhD, are to work in the biotechnology industry and entrepreneurship. She is passionate about immunoengineering, protein engineering, and vaccine and therapeutic development.

LinkedIn profile:

July 9, 2021: Register

Leann To is currently a postbac in the laboratory of Paule Joseph, PhD at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, where she does clinical research to investigate the interplay of the behavioral and biological components of chemosensation, particularly in those who have alcohol use disorder (AUD) or obesity. Previously, she was a summer student in the laboratory of Susan Gottesman, PhD, where she helped develop a fluorescence-based genetic screen system to look at novel regulators of sRNA signaling in E. coli. Her research interests lie in microbiology, clinical genetics, and molecular biology. After her postbac, she intends to apply to and attend a genetic counseling program. Outside of her work, she is also interested in science communication and studying health disparities as an NIH Academy member.

Science twitter: @scienceleann
Linkedin profile:

July 16, 2021: Register

Yi Liu is currently a certified genetic counselor in the National Cancer Institute.  Prior to receiving her Masters degree in Genetic Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, she was a trainee in the NIH Postbac Program and fellow in the NIH Academy. Her career goals and passions include being a researcher, educator, and advocate for health and education disparities.

July 23, 2021: Register

Jacob Olondo Kuba graduated with a BS from the University of Maryland in spring 2020. He joined the laboratory of Matthias Machner, PhD, at  the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as a postbac the following summer. He is currently characterizing a group of putative amino acid antiporters in the gram negative bacterium Legionella pneumophila. His career goal is to work as a physician while also dedicating some time to conduct research