Belen Hurle is the director of intramural translational training for NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation. As a training specialist within the Education Branch of the Office of Policy, Communications and Education, she leads NCATS trainees in achieving career transitions with a thoughtful mix of networking, training, coaching and leadership opportunities. Hurle’s primary focus is on developing a skilled and highly diverse translational science workforce. By infusing all training programs with best practices in community engagement and in diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA), she promotes a dynamic vision of NCATS, where different life experiences, opinions and skills are represented, respected and celebrated for maximum creativity and impact.
Before joining NCATS, Hurle was an associate investigator in the Education and Community Involvement Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where she oversaw a portfolio of education initiatives — from public education programs to award-winning educational materials — requiring cross-linking multiple divisions across NHGRI, NIH and various community partners. A highlight of her career at NHGRI was serving as a genetic science subject-matter expert for the traveling exhibition “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. This high-tech experience captured the revolutionary nature of genomic science and was visited by 1.6 million people during its 15-month tenure on the National Mall in Washington D.C. — and a great many others during its subsequent international tour.
Hurle serves on multiple boards, committees and workgroups, inside and outside of NIH, as an authority on training, science education, genomic literacy, DEIA and community outreach. Before her career as a training and education specialist, Hurle was a staff scientist in a group led by NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., where she managed a complex research portfolio spanning population genomics, primate genomics, vertebrate comparative genomics, genome assembly and inner ear development.
Hurle earned her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Oviedo in Spain.
Hurle is focused on identifying support strategies for underrepresented populations in science, with a special interest in retaining women, first-generation college students, and Latino and Hispanic talent. She also aspires to empower disfranchised populations through community engagement programs and education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.