Irene Avila

Irene Avila

Irene Avila

Power Words

Colabora, Pide Ayuda, Nunca Temas
Collaborate, Ask for Help, Never be Afraid

Where were you born? 

San Jose, California

What school did you attend? 

Arizona State University for Master’s and PhD

What gained your interest in the NIH? 

I learned about training opportunities through SACNAS when I was awarded a Neuroscience Travel Fellowship during my early graduate school years. Levon Parker, who was at NINDS, assisted me with identifying a lab for the Summer Internship Program and the lab I worked in during that summer invited me to return the following year as a graduate student in the NIH Graduate Partnership Program. And I have been here since.

What kind of work do you do at the NIH? 

As a graduate student, I studied the basal ganglia circuit in an animal model with Parkinson's disease. As a postdoc, I studied the basal forebrain circuit in the decision making process. Currently, I am the Special Assistant to the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, assisting in her efforts in developing programming to enhance diversity and inclusion at the NIH.

What message would you like to send to young Hispanics who are considering going to college? 

Never be afraid to ask for help. Many professors, postdocs, grad students, department administrators are willing to help you succeed and science is a team/collaborative effort.