Dr. Parekh is a post doctoral fellow in Dr. Hofmann lab at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, and he is investigating the function and role of Notch signaling in mammalian testis. He was the ASA Trainee Representative during 2016-2018. Here he shares his experience and view on ASA and being the Trainee Rep in the Council with us.
How was your interest in field of andrology developed?
It has been a little different in my case; I trained as a chemical biologist esp. targeted therapy and diagnostics. I applied to a postdoctoral position with Dr. Hofmann at MD Anderson Cancer Center, deciding to use my skills for a project in andrology, wrote an R21, unfortunately not funded but continued with the research as I found this to be a different from my previous training but way more interesting. I hope it pays off and I am able to establish myself in this area of investigation.
Why did you volunteer to be considered for the Trainee Representative position?
I thought it was a nice way to know people and make myself known in the field as I trained as a chemical biologist and entered the field only as a postdoc. I believed this opportunity to keep me more invested in the area of research.
What do you think was the high point of your service as the ASA Trainee Representative? What did this experience teach you?
Arranging the TDMS is definitely an experience. Having to contact people and requesting them to participate for trainees, especially without any honorarium is quite difficult and requires persistence, tact, and luck! Fundraising is another aspect that scientist don’t deal with and is a welcome addition to know that the community is always willing to help
What has been the impact of the ASA membership in your career?
ASA is a small community, it is welcoming and open to networking. Attending and presenting at ASA has been a positive experience. Contrasting this with memberships with huge societies such as AACR etc. their only motive seems to be able to apply for grants, attend meetings, present your poster/talk and that’s it. ASA Membership has led to several interactions outside of this activity, and not to forget the awesome party :)
What would you say to convince a trainee to become involved in the society?
If you are interested in male reproductive biology, please be involved with ASA. It helps you knowing the movers and shakers in this area and help you with your career. Since this is a very small and competitive field any differentiator is welcome. Attending the conference helps to know the overall direction of the field and surely, make connections for future collaborators and hopefully new friends.
This interview was done by Nima Zarandi. Nima is a medical doctor (MD) graduated from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) in Iran. He came to United States in 2016 and started working with Dr. Anthony Atala and Dr. Hooman Sadri-Ardekani at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), in Winston Salem, NC. Nima is now a research fellow in Male Fertility Research Group (MFRG) at WFIRM working on different applications of Spermatogonia Stem cells for infertility treatment in cancer survivors and Klinefelter Syndrome patients, and also different approaches for in vitro spermatogenesis. He is currently the Trainee Representative at the ASA council.