Skip Navigation Links

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.


Get the latest public health information from CDC: https://www.coronavirus.gov
Get the latest research information from NIH: https://www.nih.gov/coronavirus

2018 NIH Distinguished Scholars

ecalvo.jpg

“A good mentor provides lifelong lessons”

Eric Calvo, Ph.D.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Eric Calvo was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Havana, Cuba and his Ph.D. from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Irvine, and at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, before becoming a staff scientist first at the Food and Drug Administration and then at NIAID in the Laboratory of Malaria & Vector Research, where he is now a Stadtman tenure track investigator. The overall objective of his research is to understand the mechanisms of vector-host and vector-pathogen interactions at the biochemical and molecular level, ultimately aiming to develop new control strategies to reduce or eliminate vector-borne diseases.

 

ccukras.jpg

“Science provides a universal language”

Catherine Cukras, M.D., Ph.D.

National Eye Institute

Dr. Catherine Cukras grew up in Westchester, New York. She was a chemical engineering major at Princeton University, and received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Washington University. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a medical retina fellowship at the National Eye Institute. As a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and tenure track investigator at NEI, she is interested in understanding retinal disease from clinical study, particularly retinal degenerations spanning monogenetic disease as well as age-related macular degeneration, to provide insights into disease pathogenesis and developing outcome measures for clinical trials.

 

seltoukhy.jpg

“I consider mentees an academic family”

Sherine El-Toukhy, Ph.D.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Dr. Sherine El-Toukhy was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. Her bachelor's and master's degrees in communication are from Cairo University, Egypt, and her doctoral degree, also in health communication, is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her postdoctoral work at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, where she is now an Earl Stadtman tenure track investigator. Her research program is aimed at improving minority health and reducing health disparities through digital public health interventions.

 

fescorcia.jpg

“A valuable mentor has self-awareness and humility”

Freddy Escorcia, M.D., Ph.D.

National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research

Dr. Freddy Escorcia was born and spent his early childhood in Nicaragua, moving later to Toronto, Canada and then to Peoria, IL. He obtained undergraduate bioengineering and chemistry degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program of Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and The Rockefeller University. He completed Radiation Oncology residency and postdoctoral work at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He is an Assistant Clinical Investigator at the National Cancer Institute within the Radiation Oncology Branch and Molecular Imaging Program, and runs the Laboratory of Molecular Radiotherapy, developing new methods for diagnosing and treating hepatobiliary malignancies.

 

sjackson.jpg

“NIH is an unparalleled place to do research”

Sadhana Jackson, M.D.

National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research

Dr. Sadhana Jackson was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She earned her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and M.D. degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She completed a pediatric residency at Orlando Health, a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and a dual pediatric neuro-oncology/clinical pharmacology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. She is an Assistant Clinical Investigator within the Neuro-Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Her research focuses on the complexity of the blood-brain barrier and its relationship to malignant glioma treatment resistance.

 

jjones.jpg

Jennifer Jones, M.D., Ph.D.

National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research

Dr. Jennifer Jones grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, majored in chemistry and biophysics at Princeton University, and then completed graduate, medical and postdoctoral training in immunology, genetics, cancer biology, and radiation oncology at Stanford University. She spent a year at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a Research Fellow before joining the National Cancer Institute as an Assistant Clinical Investigator and Staff Clinician. She is now a Stadtman tenure track investigator whose laboratory research bridges the fields of immunology, cancer, molecular genetics, and extracellular vesicles, in a comprehensive way to develop and investigate exosomes as packets of information that can be used to monitor treatment or adjust responses to immune based therapies.

 

pjoseph.jpg

“Differences aren’t something to be fixed”

Paule Joseph, Ph.D.

National Institute of Nursing Research

Dr. Paule Joseph was born and raised in Venezuela of Haitian parents and moved to attend college in the United States. She obtained an associate’s degree in nursing at Hostos Community College, a bachelor’s degree in nursing at College of New Rochelle, and a Master’s degree from the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Pace University, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She did postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Nursing Research, where she is now an Assistant Clinical Investigator. Her research focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms associated with chemosensory variations and alterations that occur in metabolic conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, with the aim of improving the diagnosis, prevention, and management of chemosensory disorders and symptoms.

 

jrodrigez.jpg

“Mentoring cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach”

Joseph Rodriguez, Ph.D.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Joseph Rodriguez was born in White Plains, NY. He has a B.S. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. degree in Bioinformatics from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Brandeis University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute. As a tenure track investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, he is interested in understanding the mechanisms of stochastic gene expression in single live cells. He is specifically interested in how expression heterogeneity is regulated and its impact on cell function and disease.

 

hnidasen.jpg

“NIH offers endless opportunities to improve patient outcomes”

H. Nida Sen, M.D.

National Eye Institute

Dr. H. Nida Sen was born and raised in Turkey. She obtained her M.D. degree from Hacettepe University of Turkey and a Master of Health Sciences from Duke University. She completed her ophthalmology residency at George Washington University and her uveitis fellowship at the National Eye Institute. She is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and tenure track investigator at NEI. Her primary interest is early phase clinical trials and the current focus of her research is molecular categorization of uveitis as well as understanding the role of the gut microbiome in autoimmune uveitis. She is also the Director of the Uveitis Clinic and the Uveitis and Ocular Immunology Fellowship Program at NEI.

 

htejeda.jpg

“Life comes in many diverse forms”

Hugo Tejeda, Ph.D.

National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Hugo Tejeda was born in Juarez, Mexico, and grew up there and its sister border city, El Paso, TX. He completed undergraduate degrees in Biological Sciences and in Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso, his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and a post-doctoral fellowship at NIDA. He is a Stadtman tenure track investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health interested in understanding how the brain utilizes neuromodulation in motivational and emotional neural circuits to process information and orchestrate behavior. He is also interested in identifying plastic changes in neuromodulation and synaptic integration, using animal models to elucidate novel therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric disorders and increase our understanding of conventional therapies.

 

jvegarodrigez.jpg

“I view each idea as important”

Joel Vega-Rodriguez, Ph.D.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Joel Vega-Rodriguez was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Rio Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and completed his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. He is a Stadtman tenure track investigator in the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His current research focuses on characterizing host-parasite and mosquito-parasite interactions required for transmission of the malaria parasite, specifically the interaction of the malaria sporozoite with the human fibrinolytic system and its role during parasite infection of the human and the mosquito.

 

jvidigal.jpg

“Strategies may be overlooked if a team is too homogenous”

Joana Vidigal, Ph.D.

National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research

Dr. Joana Vidigal was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Lisbon and at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and received her doctoral degree at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. She carried out postdoctoral research at Memorial Sloan Kettering. As a Stadtman tenure track investigator in the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the National Cancer Institute, her goal is to use experimental and computational CRISPR tools together with her expertise in mouse modeling, tumor biology, and embryonic development to study the noncanonical mechanisms through which Argonaute proteins and other components of the RNAi pathway regulate animal physiology and disease.

 

fwilliams.jpg

“I can completely devote myself to research”

Faustine Williams, Ph.D.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Dr. Faustine Williams was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She was an assistant professor at Eastern Tennessee State University before joining the NIH as a Stadtman tenure track investigator. She is a trained transdisciplinary researcher with a focus on cancer prevention and control and health disparities, specifically interested in inter- and intra-health disparities in chronic diseases and finding ways to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities.

 

 

Back to Top