Spotlight On: Mahamat Babagana, postdoctoral fellow at NIA
Mahamat Babagana was born and raised in upstate New York in the inner-city area of Buffalo. He completed his undergrad degree in Pre-Med at SUNY, Buffalo. His passion for science led him to pursue a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology at SUNY at Buffalo.
What is your area of research focus and its impact?
My research focus has shifted from cancer therapeutics during my graduate training, to physiological aging and inflammation as a post-doc. My current focus is on the effect blast-induced trauma and inflammation in the Central Nervous System and other similar topics.
What motivated you to do your postdoctoral fellowship at NIA?
I wanted to step into the aging and neurodegeneration research field. I was attracted to the NIH/NIA for its rich history in aging research and its ability to provide the resources necessary for an effective post-doc training experience.
What’s next for you and what's beyond?
I have recently accepted my new role as a research physiologist in the U.S. Navy. My scientific endeavors include guiding research for the Navy in various areas and building out research initiatives. On a personal front, starting and raising a family is at the forefront of my life.
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your career?
The world is a complex place, many people have provided guidance along my journey, including undergrad counselors, academic and scientific mentors, friends and family. Ultimately, I had the realization that I am responsible for taking the reins of my career.
What are some of your hobbies in your spare time?
In reality, as a grad student and post-doc, spare time is limited. However, when I had time I really enjoyed long trail hikes and reading fictional books by a beach or a lake. I also enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones during happy hour.
What advice do you have for postdocs at the NIA for Career Development and obtaining a job?
You must always begin with the end goal in mind. The post-doc experience is a great platform that allows for advancement to a myriad of different areas. It’s important that your efforts are tailored to specific goals.
The NIH/NIA is rich in diversity and talented researchers, including pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scientists. It behooves each scientist to maximize their interactions with one another and to experience as many of these researchers as possible to create the most innovative and inclusive NIH as possible.— Mahamat Babagana