Each fall, the graduate students in the Department of Pharmacology organize their annual graduate student symposium, which includes two poster sessions, several slide presentations, a luncheon and the keynote speaker’s address. This year’s symposium was held at the La Quinta Inn and Suites Medical Center (I-10E frontage road between Medical and Callaghan) in San Antonio, Texas. The event was organized by the Graduate Student Symposium Committee, whose members this year consisted of: Melodi Bowman, Danielle Santana Coelho and Chaired by Corena Shaffer.
The Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline Leader Robert Brenner, Ph.D.(R) (pictured), kicked off the symposium with opening comments before adjourning the symposium attendees for the first of two poster sesions.
After the first round of poster presentations and judging, it was time for the Alumnus and student presentations. This years Graduate Student Alumnus was Michelle Baladi, Ph.D., who is currently a Clinical Scientist at Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Her talk was titled: ‘My journey to the other side: from academia to industry’. The graduate student presentation followed, this year given by neuroscience graduate student Ashley Furr. Ashley is conducting his resarch in the lab of Endodontics Professor and Chair, Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D. where she is focused on understanding peripheral mechanisms of pain transduction from the perspective of developing novel classes of analgesic drugs. Ashley utilizes electrophysiological and behavioral pharmacological methods, combined with cell culture and biochemical and molecular approaches to understand mechanisms of pain transduction at the level of the primary afferent nociceptive neuron. His presentation was titled: ‘Contribution of Anoctamin 1 to Burn Injury Hypersensitivity’.
Graduate Student Alumni Michelle Baladi, Ph.D. Presenting
Neuroscience Graduate Student Ashley Furr Presenting
There was a break for lunch before the second poster session began in the afternoon. Poster presentations were judged by three groups of ‘roving’ judges…two groups for Graduate Student Posters and one group for the Postdoctoral Fellow and Undergraduate Posters. The judges in the Graduate Student Group 1 this year were: The Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline Leader Robert Brenner, Ph.D., Graduate Student Alumnus Michelle Baladi, Ph.D. and Pharmacology Assistant Professor/Research Lisa Gerak, Ph.D.. The judges in the Graduate Student Group 2 this year were: Pharmacology Assistant Professor Greg Collins, Ph.D., Pharmacology Assistant Professor Gek-Ming Sia, Ph.D. and Pharmacology Instructor/Research David Maguire, Ph.D.. The judges in the Postdoctoral Fellow and Undergraduate group included: Pharmacology Associate Professor/Professor Kelly Berg, Ph.D. and Professor/Research James Woods, Ph.D. Each poster presenter is given approximately ten minutes to present their research data to the judges. The judges then follow-up with a brief question and answer period before moving on to the next presenter for judging. There are two categories of competition: the ‘Student’ category and the ‘Postdoctoral/Undergrad’ category. Winners receive a certificate and cash award. This year’s Student Category winners were Stephen Hernandez (START-UP), Graduate Students Melodi Bowman, Michelle Doyle and Hudson Smith. The Postdoctoral Category winner was Brenda Gannon, Ph.D. – Congratulations Winners! (Winners Pictured Below) The certifcates and awards were presented by the Department of Pharmacology Chairman, Alan, Frazer, Ph.D.. The symposium’s two poster sessions had over forty graduate students and postdocs presenting abstracts that highlighted their current research.
Poster Presentation Winners – (L-R) Gannon, Hernandez, Doyle, Bowman and Smith
The symposium closes with remarks from both the Graduate Student Symposium Committee members and Pharmacology Chaiman, Dr. Frazer, before concluding with the Keynote’s Student Symposium Address. This year’s keynote speaker was Joan Heller Brown, Ph.D., who serves as Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of California, San Diego. Her Graduate Student Symposium address was titled ‘Fortuity, flexibility and flair will get you there’.
Dr. Heller Brown Presenting ‘Fortuity, flexibility and flair will get you there’
Planning has already begun for the next symposium, the 25th Annual Graduate Student Symposium – check the News and Events ‘Upcoming Events’ section, in a couple months, for an entry with details about the next symposium…hope to see you there!
This article was originally found here.