Kelly Ferguson, Former PROTECT Trainee, Wins NIEHS Mentor of the Year

PROTECT Collaborator and former trainee Dr. Kelly Ferguson recently won the 2018 NIEHS Mentor of the Year Award. Presented by the NIEHS Trainees Assembly (NTA), this award aims to honor an NIEHS scientist who has used training to support NIEHS fellows and trainees scientifically and personally. To qualify, a mentor could be a Principal Investigator, Staff Scientist, or PhD Employee who has heavily contributed to professional training of NIEHS Trainees. Mentors can be nominated by fellows, peers, lab chiefs, and other employees who regularly interact with their chosen candidate. The winner is selected by the NTA Steering committee, with a subcommittee of their peers that serve as a review panel. Ferguson currently leads the Perinatal and Early Life Epidemiology Group at NIEHS as a Principal Investigator, and we couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of her career development.

During her research position within the PROTECT Center, Kelly Ferguson was a star Trainee under the direction of PROTECT Project 1 Leader John Meeker at the Environmental Exposure and Epidemiology Lab of University of Michigan. Ferguson presented at numerous conferences, was listed as first or second author on many publications, and completed both an MPH in Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology as well as a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Public Health. Through her current role as Principal Investigator at NIEHS, she has continued to collaborate on PROTECT publications and created a gestational age algorithm that more accurately measures gestational age at birth. Since she completed her PhD two years ago, Ferguson has continued to blaze trails through her work and was recognized by the NIEHS as one of 20 under 40 to watch in environmental health in September 2017. The NIEHS scientific director, Darryl Zeldin, M.D., said of her, “The combination of insight and specialized training that Kelly brings to her research signals a scientist likely to play a significant role in advancing the field of environmental health.”

Congratulations Kelly! We couldn’t be more proud of your successful career development and the amazing work you continue to do mentoring emerging researchers.