The ASBMR helped Babatunde by providing opportunities to volunteer, which helped him to advance his career, contribute to the Society and make a lasting impact in the field.
Dr. Babatunde Oyajobi, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas (UT Health San Antonio) where his research focuses on multiple myeloma-induced bone disease. With 30 years in the field and 28 years as an ASBMR member, he shares what has helped him advance his research and career.
How has the ASBMR helped you in your career?
ASBMR remains the premier international society for basic, translational and clinical researchers in the bone and mineral field. Attendance at ASBMR Annual Meetings presented opportunities to meet with the leaders in the field and learn from them, develop new professional collaborations and foster ongoing ones, network with peers and equally important, make new lifelong friends.
As an ASBMR member, what are benefits or resources that have been most valuable to you?
Scientific presentations at the Annual Meetings of the Society have been invaluable to me. Early in my career, I was fortunate to have had abstracts that I proffered, either as first author or last author, selected for platform presentations for several years starting in 1998. Those oral presentations were instrumental in advancing my trajectory because of the exposure that they gave me early on in my scientific career. These presentations were also the vehicle for future scientific collaborations with other members of the society. In addition, the volunteer opportunities, where I have been able to serve on ASBMR committees, have been beneficial. They not only counted as service for purposes of promotion and award of tenure at my home institution, but they have also been opportunities to contribute to causes that I care deeply about, including increasing overall ASBMR membership and specifically, increasing diversity and inclusion in our society. Another aspect where I have benefited from ASBMR volunteer opportunities relate to service on the Advocacy and Science Policy committee that has helped me better understand how policies and regulations, at federal, state and local levels, impacts our field.
How have connections with other ASBMR members helped you in your career?
I have been extremely fortunate to have been mentored at various times by three ASBMR members to whom I will always be very grateful: Graham Russell, my graduate advisor at the University of Sheffield Medical School in the U.K. where I obtained my PhD degree and who introduced me to the bone and mineral field, Pierre Marie, whom I spent some wonderful time with as a postdoctoral trainee in Paris, France and the late Gregory Mundy who was a mentor initially as a postdoctoral fellow in his group in San Antonio and subsequently as a junior faculty member at UT Health San Antonio. Each of these outstanding mentors, with very different mentoring styles, impacted my professional development and career significantly albeit in different ways. They were generous and caring, patient teachers, loyal bosses and good friends. They taught me all I know and introduced me to the ASBMR, which has been my scientific home from my days as a graduate student in Sheffield and continue to be my scientific home 30 years on. Importantly, each of the three mentors emphasized the critical role that ASBMR plays in the careers of young scientists in the bone and mineral field and each of them made certain that I presented my research at ASBMR Annual Meetings starting in 1989 at the Annual Meeting held that year in Montreal, Canada. In addition, all three outstanding mentors continued to be a source of counsel for me as I grew in the profession and in my career and I can say unequivocally that collectively they have been a major reason for my success, actively "sponsoring" me at every opportunity they have. I recall, for example, Greg's confidence sending me to workshops or symposia to present on his behalf, suggesting my name to journal editors as a potential manuscript reviewer, involving me in a program project grant application when I was still a junior faculty member. In addition, Graham was the one who introduced me to both Pierre and Greg and these were connections that resulted in moves first to Paris and later to San Antonio that have been critical to my professional growth.
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