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Intersections Success Story: David Castillo Azofeifa, PhD

September 07, 2021

David Castillo Azofeifa, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California San Francisco, said that when he applied and was accepted as a fellow at the first Intersections Science Fellows Symposium, he expected it to begin and end with the three-day event for presenting his research and making connections. In reality, says Castillo Azofeifa, it was much more. “Intersections really prepares you for the job market,” he says. “It highlights you as an excellent candidate and it prepares you for what to do. And it connects you with a community of underrepresented people in the sciences.”

This community is critical, Castillo Azofeifa points out. “They are brainstorming ideas about how we can make science more diverse in all aspects moving forward,” he says.

Sponsored and run by Yale School of Medicine and supported by more than 20 top institutions, the Intersections Science Fellows Symposium is designed to showcase the work of mid- to late-stage postdoctoral researchers who can advance diversity in the biological sciences and offer networking opportunities with hiring institutions. Fellows are selected through a rubric-led review process, matched with faculty mentors, and invited into a community of other promising postdocs, many of them from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. While the symposium itself is held over three days—happening Nov. 1-3, 2021—mentor meetings and conversations with other fellows continue well into the following year.

Currently Castillo Azofeifa is finishing his postdoctoral research in intestinal stem cells, but he says he has multiple promising opportunities for next career steps thanks to Intersections. Monthly meetings with his mentor have also served as an invaluable resource, he says.

“Intersections is ideal for someone looking to go into the job market that year or the year after.” He noted that one week after the symposium people began reaching out with positions and encouraging him to apply. “I was invited to give departmental seminars, meet faculty, and expand my network of colleagues. Intersections provided me with a great platform for advancing my career. It’s life-changing.”

Intersections provided me with a great platform for advancing my career. It’s life-changing.

David Castillo Azofeifa

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Submitted by Brita Belli on September 07, 2021