Simons Postdoctoral Fellows: In their own words

“The Simons Fellowship has had a remarkable impact on my research and I am very grateful for the generous early stage career support it has provided. The fellowship gave me the independence to develop my own unique research program and funded my attendance at several international meetings and a workshop where I learned a new technique that has never before been applied to studying autism. I am particularly grateful for interactions with fellow Simons postdocs, as they helped to expand my collegiate network and develop ideas outside of my primary area of expertise. As a junior scientist, these opportunities have been instrumental in fostering my scientific development and provide a strong foundation for my own independent research career”

Simons Postdoctoral Fellow Ashley Watson, Ph.D.
Li-Huei Tsai Laboratory, MIT



“The Simons Fellowship was one of the most important steps in my early career. The program provided community and resources that shaped my research directions, helped me find collaborators, and gave me the support and freedom to try some of the outside-the box experiments that wouldn’t have been successful without Simons support. Additionally, the diverse speakers hosted by the Simons center broadened my exposure to varied research”

Former Simons Postdoctoral Fellow Ian Slaymaker, Ph.D.
 Feng Zhang Laboratory, Broad Institute, MIT


“As a grad student, I gained expertise in both human neuroimaging and the study of infant behavior.  The Simons Fellowship helped me to marry these two areas, providing both the equipment and the research support I needed to learn to study brain function in human infants”

Simons Postdoctoral Fellow Lindsey Powell, Ph.D.
 Rebecca Saxe Laboratory, MIT



Photo Credit: Allen Institute | Showcase 2014: Neville Sanjana, Ph.D., Next Generation Leader

“The Simons Fellowship has had an oversize impact on my career and I am extremely grateful for the crucial early stage support. First and foremost, the Simons Fellowship gave me the confidence and freedom to develop a new technology that resulted in several high profile publications. Beyond this, the Simons Fellowship has connected me with a community of autism researchers. By collaborating with several of these scientists and clinicians, I have found great places to apply the technologies in genome engineering and neural differentiation that I developed in my postdoc.”

Former Simons Postdoctoral Fellow Neville Sanjana, Ph.D.
currently Core Member, New York Genome Center; Assistant Professor, New York University Dept. of Biology and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology



“My Simons Fellowship gave me the opportunity to focus on the brain basis of autism… I was able to learn a new technique, simultaneous EEG-fMRI, which had never before been applied to studying autism. Having this breadth of knowledge and the experience and working directly with individuals with autism helped me obtain a professorship in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at
Northwestern University.”

– Former SCSB Schwinn Family Fellow Elizabeth Norton, Ph.D.
currently Assistant Professor, Northwestern University




Photo Credit: Tufts University


“The Simons Fellowship had three primary impacts on my research and career. First, the Simons Fellowship provided me the opportunity to develop a new line of research on individual differences in early exploration among typically-developing and at-risk infants. Second, I was exposed to the ASD research community more broadly through the series of talks sponsored by the Simons Center. Finally, the research I was able to develop during my fellowship made me a more competitive candidate on the job market for tenure-track faculty positions.”

– Former Simons Postdoctoral Fellow Paul Muentener, Ph.D.
currently Assistant Professor, Tufts University