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.
|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|
|2/6/2014||Steph Garcia||GS||Microbiology/Wu lab|
|2/20/2014||Joshua Onuiri||GS||Pharm tox|
|2/27/2014||Amanda DeBrot||GS||Pharm tox|
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.