Salk Associate Professor Sreekanth Chalasani has won the 2021 National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Gallagher Mentor Award. The announcement was made at the 2021 NPA Annual Conference, which took place April 15 and 16. Chalasani was one of eight finalists for the prestigious award.
According to the NPA, the award recognizes those who advocate for postdoctoral scholars; exhibit outstanding communication skills; embed diversity, equity and inclusion values in mentoring; demonstrate respect for the work and career paths of postdoctoral scholars; create productive working environments to enhance the postdoctoral experience; and show resilience and creativity as mentors during the pandemic.
At Salk, Chalasani has made a host of discoveries around the brain, and developed a technique called sonogenetics, which manipulates neurons using ultrasound and has vast implications for therapeutics.
“STEM careers often require one to navigate multiple stages successfully. Each of these stages are also very competitive, thus making mentorship critical to the entire journey,” says Chalasani, a member of Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory.
He advises potential mentors to trust their instincts; be flexible; consistent; and true to their own values.