Oakwood Seminar Series

As a MERIT postdoctoral fellow, I work with UAB and Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL. Oakwood is an undergraduate institution with active research programs in the chemistry and biology departments.  I set up a weekly seminar series to introduce the students to current biological research that is being performed by post-docs and graduate students at UAB. I solicited volunteers from UAB to give a 45-minute presentation at Oakwood on their research and their career path – why they chose to become a scientist.

In our inaugural year (2012-2013) we had 17 speakers on a variety of topics including cancer biology, neurobiology, biomedical engineering, microbiology, and cell biology. The student enthusiasm was high gauging by the high attendance throughout the year and by the number and caliber of questions asked at the end of each seminar. Here is the schedule for 2013-2014.

 Date Name   Title/Topic
8/29/2013 Nathan Hutcheson GS Using neuroimaging to explain variance in treatment response in patients with schizophrenia
9/5/2013 Olga Viktorovskaya GS Divergent contributions of conserved active site residues to transcription by eukaryotic RNA polymerases I and II
9/12/2013 Kate Michel GS Hormonal contraceptives alter the female genital tract: Implications for HIV-1 transmission
9/19/2013 Desiree Stewart GS Effect of Antidepressant Therapy on Post-Spinal Cord Injury Functional Recovery
9/26/2013 Kyle Fraser GS The Biomarker and Drug Discovery Landscape for Parkinson’s Disease
10/3/2013 Timothy Rohrbach GS Using Molecular subtypes of brain cancer to direct targeted therapies
10/10/2013 Danielle Yancey GS Antioxidant Protects Against Cytoskeletal Degradation in Chronic Heart Failure
10/17/2013 Krysta Engel GS Jack of All Trades? Spt6, the Pol II Associated Factor, is also Essential for rRNA Synthesis
10/24/2013 Ewa Szymanska GS Graduate School, Research, and Immune Deficiency
10/31/2013 Lauren Hablitz GS Of Channels and Rhythms: GIRK channels mediate circadian entrainment
11/7/2013 Jay Bhatt GS Cell Biology: Vesicle formation and beyond!
11/14/2013 Josh Jackson GS Giving Herpes to Cancer: Why it Works and How to Improve It.
11/21/2013 Blake Atwood GS Transcriptional Regulation of the Ribosomal RNA Gene
1/16/2014 Michael Nelson MERIT Understanding Microscopy through Photography
1/23/2014 Jocelyn Hauser GS The Host Environment in the Transition of Streptococcus pneumoniae from a colonizer to an invader
1/30/2014 Heather Allen MSTP Neuroimmunology
2/6/2014 Steph Garcia GS Microbiology/Wu lab
2/13/2014 Jessica Grunda Postdoc Medicine
2/20/2014 Joshua Onuiri GS Pharm tox
2/27/2014 Amanda DeBrot GS Pharm tox
3/13/2014 Arthur Totten GS
3/20/2014 Constance Agamasu GS Microbiology
3/27/2014 Jada Hallengren GS neuroscience
4/3/2014 Beth Walters GS Microbiology
3/10/2014 Venkat Yeramilli Postdoc microbiology

This seminar series is mutually beneficial for both schools. Oakwood gets exposure to cutting edge scientific research and UAB graduate students and post-docs have a forum to present their research. The series was so successful that it will be institutionalized and has been expanded to our other partner school, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa.

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