Marcus Hodges is the lead for intramural trainee development in NCATS' Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI). Working within the Education Branch of the Office of Policy, Communications and Education, he develops, markets, implements and evaluates training and professional development activities for DPI intramural trainees. Serving as an advocate for NCATS fellows, Hodges ensures that trainees have opportunities to acquire and enhance the skills needed to succeed in a preclinical, translational science environment. He also is responsible for ensuring that all trainee application and on-boarding procedures comply with DPI and NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education policies.
Prior to joining NCATS, Hodges served as the fellowship director for the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP), a partnership between the NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), overseeing the planning, coordination and execution of all didactic and experiential training for fellows. He also managed the NBBTP Scientific Advisory Board and served as the liaison between the fellows, contractors and government officials. During his eight-year tenure with NBBTP, Hodges markedly enhanced the training curriculum and established developmental assignment partnerships with more than 25 government, academic and private-sector institutions. Previously, Hodges was a biosafety-biosecurity specialist for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, where he helped create and execute health and safety programs for biosafety level-2, -3 and -4 laboratory environments.
Hodges received his doctorate in biology from Howard University, with a concentration in molecular parasitology. His research focused on characterizing iron regulatory proteins in Plasmodium falciparum. Hodges then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases at NIAID, where he investigated the effects of Ascaris suum pseudocoelomic fluid in allergic asthma models. He later completed a second fellowship at NIH, specializing in biological safety and biocontainment.
Hodges strives to create training environments that foster scientific and interpersonal growth. He believes it is vital for scientists to learn and productively apply soft skills as biomedical research becomes more interdisciplinary and collaborative. Hodges also aspires to increase awareness of translational science in populations that are underrepresented among biomedical scientists. Furthermore, he seeks to identify and apply strategies to recruit and retain people from these underrepresented populations for DPI training programs.