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Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

January 2019

Fellows from around the globe celebrate around the table

An international potluck lets research fellows share food and cultures while building a sense of camaraderie.

The Nov. 28 International Potluck Celebration at NIEHS brought together research fellows from diverse cultures in an informal setting over delicious food. Joy and excitement permeated the group as they tasted various dishes and treats, and engaged in animated conversations.

Chinese stir-fry noodles Xu brought Chinese stir-fry noodles. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The celebration was initiated by the Office of Fellows' Career Development (OFCD), in collaboration with the NIEHS Trainees Assembly (NTA). The event owes much of its success to OFCD Director Tammy Collins, Ph.D.; Hong Xu, OFCD program manager and data analyst; and Katherine Hamilton, OFCD coordinator for summer interns and postbaccalaureate fellows.

Celebrating more than food

The dishes were diverse and included American comfort food such as banana pudding, German baked goods, Chinese noodles, and Indian curry. Everyone in the room sampled a little bit of each dish, and not a morsel was left by the end of the event.

shrimp curry with rice A delicious shrimp curry with rice was the Southern Indian treat provided by Gopi Gadupudi, Ph.D., a fellow in the National Toxicology Program Molecular Pathology Group. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The international potluck celebration, which takes place most years, gives fellows an opportunity to showcase their cultures, and more importantly, to interact with one another and meet new faces.

“Our international fellows enrich the NIEHS community, and I am grateful to get the chance to work with and learn from them,” said Collins.

Linzer cookies and heidesand cookies Linzer cookies and heidesand cookies represent German baked goods and were provided by Salahuddin Syed, Ph.D., an IRTA fellow in the Genome Integrity and Structural Biology Laboratory (GISBL). (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

“The international potluck is my favorite food event of the year at NIEHS,” she added. “Over the years, I’ve tasted foods I never had before while learning more about the cultures of our NIEHS fellows.”

It was hard not to overhear some of the interesting conversations about science in general and the specific research that participants are doing. Fellows offered advice to each other, helping build a sense of community and camaraderie.

homemade deviled eggs Joseph Dahl, Ph.D., an IRTA fellow in GISBL, brought homemade deviled eggs. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

(Salahuddin Syed, Ph.D., is an Intramural Research and Training Award [IRTA] fellow in the NIEHS DNA Replication Fidelity Group and president of the NTA.)


group of fellows eating

Taking a break from the lab were, from left, Hamilton, Kathleen Foley, Collins, Gadupudi, Syed, Xu, Dahl, Hayley Lazar, and Sierra Atwater. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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