The new fellowship program brings PhD neuroscience researchers to Gainesville to begin their careers, providing them with a stipend for two years. Fellows are also able to continue for a third year if they fulfill a commitment to submit a fellowship application or K award application by the end of their second year.
“Gator NeuroScholars is our latest innovative program demonstrating the MBI’s focus on building our scientific workforce,” said Jennifer Bizon, PhD, director of the McKnight Brain Institute. “This new opportunity augments our community of outstanding postdoctoral scholars and complements our full spectrum of training programs that also includes pathway-to-PhD and numerous graduate programs.”
Program director Gordon Mitchell, PhD, said Gator NeuroScholars is designed to attract top trainees from across the world. The program’s first cohort includes a graduate of the University of Melbourne in Australia and a PhD candidate from the University of British Columbia in Canada, in addition to talented researchers from the United States.
“First-rate research institutions are driven in the biomedical arena by postdocs,” said Mitchell, deputy director of the McKnight Brain Institute. “They bring energy and knowledge. If you’re going to compete for the best, you need to create a strong, vibrant community that contributes to individual research programs and enables new collaborations.”
Adithya Gopinath, PhD ’22, who will conduct translational research in Parkinson’s disease and the peripheral immune system in the labs of Michael Okun, MD, and Habibeh Khoshbouei, PhD, PharmD, said UF is on the leading edge nationwide amid a push to increase benefits and salaries of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students.
“The fact that they’re doing so much to focus on the well-being of postdocs in the UF College of Medicine and in the Gainesville community really goes a long way toward encouraging high-quality postdocs to come here,” Gopinath said.