Slate of Candidates for 2024 – 2027 Term
The following candidates have expressed interest and are willing to serve on the Board for the 2024 – 2027 term if elected. Please review a summary paragraph as to how each nominees skills, expertise and current research interests will benefit the current Board and how they will bring diversity to the Society below. All members are welcome to contact these candidates to inquire about their positions prior to voting.
Freidl de Groote
I am an Associate Professor studying neuromechanics of locomotion using a blended computational and experimental approach at KULeuven (Belgium). I have regularly attended NCM since 2015. I was originally trained in biomechanics and I have really appreciated how the format of the meeting with panel presentations and lots of interactions during poster sessions made it accessible to non-specialists. Since that time, I have participated actively in the meeting by participating in panel sessions and later also through encouraging lab members to present their work. I have served one term as Board Member and would be delighted to continue serving on the board, providing the perspective of a female researcher based in Europe. I would like to provide continuing support for initiatives to further strengthen the diversity of the meeting, both in terms of science and representation. I feel there is especially more work to do to improve geographic diversity.
Technical University of Munich
I have been a member of NCM since 2011, and attended most of the subsequent annual meetings. The NCM society has taken on an important role in our field, contributing to connecting individual researchers, providing opportunities, and motivating young researchers. Importantly the NCM society continues to bring computational, theoretical and experimental approaches across a wide spectrum of models together to understand the neural control of movement. Currently there are no other societies that provide sensorimotor control scientists such an excellent opportunity. In order to support the NCM society, I will continually advocate for members outside of North America, and try to promote a geographically diverse NCM. I have been a scientist in Canada, Japan, UK and currently Germany, both at universities and within a research institute. I would be delighted to bring my experiences and contribute to the NCM society.
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Gandhi has been part of the NCM community for nearly 30 years. He is a current NCM Board member and seeks a 2nd term. Dr. Gandhi has served as a panel member in multiple workshops and as an individual presenter in podium and poster sessions. He has organized two NCM Satellite meetings (2008 and 2022) and a workshop (cancelled 2020 meeting). In these efforts, including the selection of proposals in his duties as a Board member, Dr. Gandhi integrated racial, professional, and geographical diversity with top quality science. He also follows this motto in promoting diversity and inclusivity in his role as the Graduate Program Director for his home department at Pitt. Dr. Gandhi has noted that oculomotor and vestibular studies have fallen out of favor in this community. In the spirit of inclusivity, he will push to increase once again the prevalence of such topics at NCM meetings.
University of California, Davis
I am running for a second term on the NCM Board because I believe that my diverse research experience will continue to be beneficial to the Society in terms of planning the annual meetings, and the selection of speakers and presentation topics. Beginning with my graduate training, I have publications that range from single unit recordings in behaving non-human primates to studies focused on eye and upper limb movements in healthy subjects and clinical populations (e.g., patients with congenital limb differences or traumatic limb loss). Thus, I have a deep and broad appreciation for the diverse approaches used to study motor control and learning. Importantly, I am very supportive of the ongoing initiatives of the Society to broaden the scope and provide exposure for the work of young and underrepresented scientists. If elected, I plan to continue to contribute to these efforts during my second term as a Board member.
University of Birmingham
The NCM society has been integral to my scientific and career development since I started out in the field of motor control as a postdoctoral researcher. Its focus on rigorous high-quality interdisciplinary neuroscience has been formative for my research goals and contributions so far. I am now providing the same opportunity to the students in my lab and have contributed regularly since 2017 to the NCM program through posters and Panel organisation. As a board member, I would take the opportunity to grow the inclusive ethos of the NCM. Many talented ECRs with parental and caring responsibilities, particularly female researchers, still face both practical and cultural challenges in their transition point to independence. This leads to the attrition of talented scientists in our field across the globe exacerbating the leaky pipeline. As a board member, I would like to work with the EDI and social media committees on initiatives that boost visibility of these talented researchers whilst they navigate a vulnerable inflection point in their careers.
Indian Institute of Science
I am honoured to be nominated for a position on the NCM board, especially having previously benefited from the society’s scholarship (2020), a pivotal support that amplified the reach of my research on the global stage. As a board member, I will contribute towards advancing the society’s missions by leveraging my expertise in the field of motor control and my socio-cultural experiences as a scientist conducting research in a developing country. One crucial aspect deserving attention is the underrepresentation of NCM members from developing countries, where enormous scientific potential sometimes goes unfulfilled owing to a lack of equitable access to global scientific resources. I believe science should not be confined by geopolitical boundaries, and I’m eager to address this gap by proposing to implement mentorship programs, outreach initiatives, and inclusive event planning. By actively working towards this, we can foster a more inclusive and globally representative NCM society that reflects the richness of neural control of movement research worldwide.
University of Delaware
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware (UD), where my research focuses on sensorimotor control after stroke. During my first NCM term, I chaired the NCM-Community Safety Committee. Our committee is responsible for promoting open and inclusive interactions, and fostering a protected and productive space for NCM attendees. We successfully created protocols to respond to community conduct reports prior to NCM Victoria. If re-elected, I aim to continue to serve as committee chair to facilitate a safe and positive environment within NCM. I believe I can uniquely contribute to the content of NCM meetings, as my research experience in sensorimotor control has ranged from non-human primate models to clinical treatment. I also believe that I can bring diversity to the board, both in gender and stage of career, as a junior, female faculty. I have remained committed to improving diversity in science, especially concerning the promotion and representation of women in STEM. I currently serve on the Board of the Women’s Caucus at UD and aim to contribute this perspective to further support women scientists within NCM.
Emory University and Georgia Tech
As a researcher in neuromechanics, NCM has been my primary meeting since my postdoctoral years. I learned to grow into being an active member of a scientific community at NCM and love to encourage trainees to feel they can belong by meeting people, presenting their work, and organizing workshops. The single-track NCM sessions makes meetings special to me, highlighting integrative principles that transcend species, behavior, approache, and disease. This integrative approach celebrates what can be gained from diverse perspectives. I’m pleased that since I last served on the board (2013-2020), NCM has added committees that align with creating an inclusive environment. I’m eager to contribute to the continued advancement of the society in alignment with the values stated above. I bring my perspectives as a highly interdisciplinary, collaborative researcher, as an educator and mentor, and as member of the LGBTQ community.
Trainee Slate of Candidates for 2024 – 2025/2026 Term
The following candidates have expressed interest and are willing to serve on the Board in the Trainee Board Member role. The trainee position is a two year cycle beginning at the end of the 2024 meeting until the close of the 2026 meeting if elected. Please review a summary paragraph as to how each nominees skills, expertise and current research interests will benefit the current Board and how they will bring diversity to the Society below. All members are welcome to contact these candidates to inquire about their positions prior to voting.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
I have been an enthusiastic member of the NCM society since 2008, both as a student when working with Amir Karniel, Ilana Nisky, and Lior Shmuelof, and as a postdoc with Rich Ivry. I have participated in almost every meeting, presented individual talks and posters, or contributed to colleagues’ presentations. In 2015, I was awarded an NCM scholarship that supported my travel to the meeting that year.
If elected, I aim to:
- Strengthen the multidisciplinary view of the society and promote diversity in the content of the NCM meetings, building on my research experience on the interaction between motor and cognitive processes and my diverse educational background in biology, engineering, psychology, and neuroscience.
- Develop new initiatives to enhance individual diversity, drawing on my experience as an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community in education against discrimination. I will encourage students and postdocs from underrepresented groups and countries to become members and participate in meetings, for example, by providing friendly platforms for young members, either through online social groups or fun in-person events (e.g., banquet/party), to socialize, discuss barriers, and offer opportunities for collaborations and mentoring.
Nina van Mastrigt
Postdoctoral Researcher - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (until March), then Justus Liebig Universitat Giessen
My name is Nina van Mastrigt. I have graduated on the topic of motor learning Jeroen Smeets’ lab, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and have visited the Cognition and Action Lab of Rich Ivry, Berkeley. This spring, I will start working on proprioception in the lab of Katja Fiehler, at the Justus Liebig Universitat Giessen, Germany. I have participated in 3 NCM conferences as a PhD student. As a postdoc, I would like to learn more about, and contribute more to the society, by representing European labs and observing and asking questions about why things go as they go.
NCM members in full standing are entitled to cast 4 (four) votes for regular board members. These votes can be cast for 4 separate candidates with one vote each, cast for the same candidate 4 times, or cast for any other combination of candidates with any number of votes to a total of 4 votes cast. The four candidates with the highest total number of votes will be the successful proponents. NCM members will be provided with one vote for the trainee member with the highest number of votes as the successful candidate.
Please note, in order to reduce selection bias, names will be shown in random orders. Please review the names carefully to ensure you are casting your vote for the correct individual.
As an NCM member in good standing, you should have received an email with specific voting instructions. If you have not received this email, please contact us.
The election is open from January 29 – February 12, 2024.
The current list of NCM Board Members can be found by clicking here