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About the Office of Fellowship Training

OFT Mission

The mission of the Office of Fellowship Training is:

  • To support and promote a productive and fulfilling research training experience in the NIMH Intramural Research Program
  • To encourage career planning and guide career management through trainee use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
  • To provide programs and services to assist trainees in discovering and clarifying career choices
  • To provide opportunities and to encourage trainees to build a professional skill set which enables them to become world leaders in academic and non-academic careers

Come visit our booth and speak with an OFT staff member about the fellowship and training opportunities we offer at the NIH/NIMH. We will be at the following scientific meetings: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students  (ABRCMS), The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics  (ASPET), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science  (SACNAS), Society of Biological Psychiatry  (SOBP) and Society for Neuroscience  (SfN).

Trainee Successes: Past & Present

Photo of Amicia Elliott

Amicia Elliott, Ph.D. is a biophysicist whose research focused on developing genetic, computational, and custom-built imaging tools to study the hormonal control of movement at cellular resolution in the fruit fly brain and muscles. She performed this work as a postdoctoral and research fellow in Benjamin White’s lab co-mentored by Hari Shroff, which she began in 2014. Dr. Elliott completed undergraduate training at Purdue University with a major in Genetic Biology and a master’s degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She completed her Ph.D. with David Piston at Vanderbilt University in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

Dr. Elliott’s NIH research had two main tracks focused on a critical developmental fruit fly behavior that is driven by a hormonally governed neural circuit. She was awarded a NIGMS PRAT Fellowship to build a light-sheet microscope capable of multicolor brain-wide imaging in the fruit fly at cellular resolution. This system is used to study multiple neuronal populations in the governing neural circuit by imaging calcium dynamics in response to hormonal stimuli. Secondly, Dr. Elliott characterized the dynamics, at single-muscle fiber resolution, of a behaving pupal fruit fly during the developmental behavior. This effort was facilitated by the identification of a novel gene expressed selectively in the striated muscle, which she named hlk (hulk). For this combined work she received a Fellows’ Award for Research Excellence in 2017 and 2018 and was awarded the NIMH Julius Axelrod Memorial Fellowship Award in 2019.

In 2022, Dr. Elliott joined Colossal Biosciences as the first Product Manager for software to develop a computational platform in support of their woolly mammoth de-extinction mission. Colossal spun out the software product suite as an independent company, Form Bio, and currently, Dr. Elliott is a Senior Product Manager there, where she continues to develop computational products for the life sciences.


Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University

M.S. in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Alabama in Huntsville

B.S. in Genetic Biology, Purdue University

Selected Publications

  1. Elliott, A.D., Berndt, A. Houpert, M., Roy, S., Scott, R.L., Chow, C.C., Shroff, H., White, B.H. (2021). Pupal behavior emerges from unstructured muscle activity in response to neuromodulation in Drosophila. Elife, 10, e68656. doi: 10.7554/eLife.68656
  2. Elliott, A.D. (2020). Confocal microscopy: principles and modern practices. Current protocols in cytometry, 92 (1), e68. doi: 10.1002/cpcy.68
  3. Diao, F., Elliott, A.D., Diao, F., Shah, S., White, B.H. (2017). Neuromodulatory connectivity defines the structure of a behavioral neural network. Elife, 6, e29797. doi: 10.7554/eLife.29797