Lasker Scholar Program Achieves “Steady State”
Monday, June 4, 2018
NIH’s first class of Lasker Clinical Research Scholars, Nehal Mehta (left) and Jessica Gill.
The NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Program, an initiative to support early-stage clinical researchers, has reached a milestone. First announced in December 2010, the program provides scholars with up to ten years of support: five to seven years as NIH tenure-track investigators, followed by three years additional funding at an extramural research institution, pending review, if they choose to leave the NIH. Our goal was to recruit a few scholars each year and have a “steady state” of 15 to 20 scholars on campus. We indeed are now up to 15 scholars, which meets this goal.
Moreover, our first two scholars, Nehal Mehta and Jessica Gill, recruited in 2012, are approaching the completion of the first phase, the intramural component of the program, as planned. The two have developed into leaders in the fields of inflammation and traumatic brain injury, respectively. They will be making an important decision on whether to stay at the NIH or to go pursue outside opportunities. Regardless of their next steps, however, the nation will surely benefit. This was the intent of the Lasker program, after all: to nurture a new generation of clinical researchers with dedicated support to help them establish a research career.
It’s truly thrilling to see the Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Program achieve this important milestone of reaching steady state with two scholars completing the first phase of the program. Our hopes for the program have come to fruition.