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NCI Welcomes Sixth Cohort of iCURE Scholars

, by CRCHD Staff

iCURE Scholars and NCI staff at the 2023 iCURE Welcome Ceremony

iCURE Scholars and NCI staff at the 2023 iCURE Welcome Ceremony

The Intramural Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (iCURE) program hosted a welcome ceremony on October 13, 2023, to announce the program’s sixth cohort, comprising 12 iCURE scholars. Earlier in the day, scholars from existing iCURE cohorts and the newest cohort of scholars spent the morning engaged in activities and learning about one another, NCI, and the NIH Bethesda campus.

“I’m excited to learn more about each of you, to work with you, and to help you succeed in what you envision as your future career pathway,” said Dr. Jessica Calzola, iCURE Program Director.

Chosen through a competitive application process, these scholars will conduct research in NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), or Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) research groups, working under the supervision of a principal investigator mentor. The research will take place on the NCI campuses in Bethesda, Rockville, and Frederick, Maryland.

The sixth cohort of iCURE scholars includes eight postbaccalaureate fellows, one graduate student, and three postdoctoral fellows. Four scholars are part of research groups on the NIH campus in Bethesda, one scholar will be working at NCI Frederick, and seven scholars have joined research groups at NCI Shady Grove in Rockville.

The event featured welcoming messages and words of advice from Dr. Glenn Merlino, CCR Scientific Director for Basic Research; Dr. Stephen Chanock, DCEG Director; and Dr. Katrina Goddard, DCCPS Director.

“We feel fortunate to have you agree to join and help us pave the way for the future for NCI cancer scientists and science,” Dr. Merlino said.

Garis Grant, a former iCURE postbaccalaureate scholar from Cohort 3, reflected on her experience as an iCURE scholar and the opportunities at NCI, stating, “In addition to joining a community comprising the best and most innovative scientists in the world, you’re also joining a community that genuinely wants to support and foster your success. Not only as an iCURE scholar, but every step of the way beyond.”

Dr. Troy McEachron, an NIH Distinguished Scholar and Investigator in CCR’s Pediatric Oncology Branch, provided an informative and inspiring keynote address focused on his personal story.

“Mentorship and having people believe that you can succeed, which is what iCURE is about, is critically important at every level,” said Dr. McEachron, who is a former CRCHD Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) F31 scholar.

CRCHD Deputy Director Dr. Nelson Aguila closed out the ceremony, advising, “Ultimately, everything that you do is in your own hands, but we can provide you with all the tools for you to facilitate your success.”

Congratulations and welcome to the new NCI iCURE scholars!

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