What's New

Program Update

FIRST Renewed for another Five Years

The FIRST/IRACDA Program has been awarded NIH funding for 2021-2025.  This renewed committment will allow FIRST to continue its amazing legacy. On February 29, 2020, FIRST celebrated its 20th Anniversary and now looking forward to its 25th Anniversary.


2020-2021 FIRST Cohort

FIRST has completed recruitment for the academic year 2020-2021. Please see the Application page for more information.

FIRST is pleased to announce its 2020-2021 cohort: Christopher Chambliss, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;  Jennifer Gresham, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL;  Anna Newton-Levinson, Emory University, Atlanta, GA;  Casey Schmidt, Emory University, Atlanta, GA;  Kaela Singleton, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Brandon Young, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;  Anna Zelaya, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

FIRST 20th Anniversary Celebration/Symposium

On February 29, 2020, the FIRST program celebrated it's 20th Anniversary with past fellows returning to campus to celebrate the program credited with both keeping them in science and giving them valuable training to enter the world of academics. Stories from FIRST: Transforming the Face of Science


Publications About Program

Eisen, A, Eaton, D.C. 01 Dec 2017.  A Model for Postdoctoral Education That Promotes Minority and Majority Success in the Biomedical Sciences.  CBE-Life Sciences Education.  16(4).  https://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/s729q


Holtzclaw, J. D., Lee G. Morris, Robert Pyatt, Cynthia S. Giver, Joseph Hoey, J. K. Haynes, Robert B. Gunn, Douglas Eaton, and Arri Eisen. "FIRST: A Model for Developing New Science Faculty." Journal of College Science Teaching 34, no. 6 (2005): 24-29. www.jstor.org/stable/42992375.

FIRST Fellows Continue to Receive Faculty Appointments

For the full list of appointments received by FIRST fellows see 
Job Placements of Graduates

  • Gandhy Pierre-Louis, Assistant Professor, Valencia College, Orlando, FL
  • Cristy Tower-Gilchrist, Lecturer, Emory School of Nursing, Atlanta, GA
  • Elizabeth Walker, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
  • Jerald Dumas, Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering, Hampton University, Hampton, VA

Other Positions:

FIRST Alumni Continue to Receive Major Funding

Dr. Sarah Stabenfeldt - An Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University, School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, received an NIH funded grant from NICHD - 1DP2HD084067-01. The title of her project is:Detecting and Treating Traumatic Brain Injury Pathology Progression From The INSI and is funded from 09/15/2014 - 08/31/2019.

Dr. Erin Keen-Rhinehart - A tenured Associate Professor of Biology at Susquehanna University, received a Career award from NSF/IOS (Division of Integrative Organismal Systems). The title of her project is: CAREER: Impact of maternal nutrient availability on offspring neuroendocrinology and behavior and is funded from 8/15/2014 - 7/31/2019. ( Notice of Award)

Dr. Sarah Brosnan - A tenured Associate Professor at Georgia State University, has received funding from NSF from the Division of Social and Ecomonic Sciences for her project titled: Collaborative Research: Expectations About Reward Outcomes. This project is funded from 9/15/2014 - 8/31/2018 (Notice of Award). She has another NSF project titled: Collaborative Research: Primate and Human Social Decision-Making. This project is funded from 9/15/2011 - 8/15/2017. (Notice of Award). Dr. Brosnan has been continuously funded by NSF since 2007 when her faculty position began at Georgia State University.

Dr. Laurie Krug - A tenured Associate Professor at Stony Brook University, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, received an NIH funded grant from NIAID - 5R01AI119079-03.  The title of her project is: Functional Analysis of STAT3 in Gammaherpesvirus Infection and is funded from 5/15/2015 - 04/30/2020.

Dr. Abdel Alli - An Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, Department of Physiology received funding from NIH/NIDDK - 5K01DK099617-05. The title his project is: Calcium, MARCKS, AND PIP2 Regulation of ENAC and us funded from 06/01/2014 - 05/31/2018.

Dr. Gretchen Neigh McCandless - A tenured Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, received funding from NIH/NINR - 5R01NR014886-04.  The title of her project is:  Adult Implications of Chronic Adolescent Stress Mediators and Modifiers and is funded from 4/18/2014 - 2/28/2019.

Dr. Seth Kelly - An Assistant Professor at the College of Wooster, Department of Biology, received an NIH funded grant from NICHD - 01R15HD084241-01A1.  The title of his project is: Mechanisms of Axonal Pathfinding During Nervous System Development and is funded from 08/10/2016 - 07/31/2019. 

FIRST Fellows Seminar Series

The FIRST Seminar Series is a peer research conference where fellows give mini-seminars about their individual research. It is also a forum in which fellows can practice an upcoming lecture for a particular course or practice a job talk prior to going out on job interviews. The most senior fellows generally begin the series of talks each year since they are further along in their research. Fellows are encouraged to take notes and give their colleagues feedback as to their general knowledge of the subject and presentation.

The conferences will be held from 12:00 - 1:00 PM in 1052 Rollins Research. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend.

September 11, 2019 - Keira Davis, 2nd Yr. Fellow

October 9, 2019 - Prestina Smith, 3rd Yr. Fellow

November 13, 2019 - Laramie Lemon, 2nd Yr. Fellow

December 11, 2019 - Laura Avila, 2nd Yr. Fellow

January 8, 2020 - Johnasha Stuart, 2nd Yr. Fellow

February 2020 - Scott Villa, 2nd Yr. Fellow

March 11, 2020 - Sharon Owino, 2nd Yr. Fellow

April 8, 2020 -  Onur Birol, 3rd Yr. Fellow

May 13, 2020 - Elizabeth Millings, 3rd Yr. Fellow

June 10, 2020 -  Kandis Adams, 3rd Yr. Fellow

July 8, 2020 - Pearl Ryder, 3rd Yr. Fellow

August 12, 2020 - Heather 'Skye' Comstra, 3rd Yr. Fellow