Hello! My name is Nina Schor, and I am the deputy director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). I have been here at NINDS for just over a year, so I am still a relative newcomer. When I thought about how I could contribute to the NINDS mission, I immediately seized on the idea of writing a blog for the public.
So why a blog? Because this is my opportunity to talk to you about what we do. Taxpayers like you fund our research. Students and trainees working in hospitals and research labs make up the future scientific workforce, while patients and their families are the beneficiaries of scientific discoveries and inventions. So, I figure who better to engage about the work being done here at NIH and how we go about doing it than you?
When I thought more about how I would go about introducing you to the world of science, medicine, and the NINDS, I had a few goals in mind:
- First, I want to go beyond the research itself and share what draws people, myself included, to careers in scientific research, and to highlight some of the work of these amazing scientists.
- Second, I plan to discuss how research itself works—how do scientists know what questions to ask? How do they find the answers? How is it all paid for? And how does science get from the laboratory bench to people in the form of treatments and preventative measures?
- Finally, I’ll aim to steer clear of scientific jargon and technical mumbo jumbo and focus on the essence and excitement of the topic at hand.
But for starters, I’d like to tell you a bit more about myself. Before joining NINDS as the deputy director, I spent 31 years of my career working in academic medical centers and children’s hospitals, specifically, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and its Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and its Golisano Children’s Hospital in New York.
I grew up splitting my time between science and the arts and still love to write poetry and play the piano. My professional life has made me a doctor, a scientist, a teacher, and a mentor. My research has focused on cancer that attacks the nervous system of children, which made me a neurologist, a pediatrician, and a cancer biologist.
And now with this blog, I get to bring all these roles together to guide you on a tour of science and medicine. I couldn’t be more excited than I am right now to bring you into my world and under the hood of the biomedical research enterprise engine. I plan (or hope) to post a new column every two months and to focus the first year’s columns on explaining how people get into science; how NIH, NINDS, and medical research work; and what science brings to real people in the real world. If special events or discoveries arise, I may post an extra column or two to bring them to your attention. I hope you’ll join me on this online journey!