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The 32nd Annual Graduate Student Research Forum Highlights Impressive Student Scientific Investigations

Students to present their research in progress, sharpen their presentation and communication skills, and receive valuable feedback from judges.

March 22, 2021
Anton M. Bennett, Ph.D. '93 Headshot

“One of the most important responsibilities of being a scientist is the dissemination of research findings to the greater community and general public,” wrote Marina K. Holz, Ph.D., dean of the GSBMS and professor of cell biology and anatomy, in her welcome letter in the program. “We will be the first ones to hear about some discoveries and advances in basic and translational science, and thus we will become active participants in the process of scientific communication.”

Moderated by Victor Garcia, Ph.D. ’15, assistant professor of pharmacology, the day began with four oral presentations and 12 poster presentations delivered via Gather Town, a virtual meeting platform, followed by a keynote address by alumnus Anton M. Bennett, Ph.D. '93. Dr. Bennett, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and professor of comparative medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, presented, "Let the Data Take You Where it May—A Journey of Studying Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases in Disease." Dr. Bennett also serves as co-director of the program in integrative cell signaling and neurobiology of metabolism and director of minority affairs for the graduate program in biological biomedical sciences at Yale. 

As GSRF tradition dictates, awards were presented to members of the faculty for their outstanding dedication and inspiring mentorship to students. The 2021 Honored Faculty Award was presented to Brian B. Ratliff, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and of physiology and director of the Accelerated Master’s Program. The 2020 Honored Faculty Award was presented to Raj K. Tiwari, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, who was chosen for the honor last year, but the forum was canceled due to the pandemic.

“Despite all the challenges that came with COVID-19, it was still possible for the GSA to host an amazing research forum for research to be shared and knowledge to be gained. Just because we could not do it in person, did not mean we could not do it at all,” explained Jessica Adams, M.B.A., GSBMS student and vice chair of the GSRF. It was definitely possible with the right, and more importantly, enthusiastic people, faculty and leadership. I think we proved that in the 32nd annual and first-ever virtual Graduate Student Research Forum.”

“Everyone involved worked tirelessly to achieve a seamless Graduate Student Research Forum,” said Oshoname Olorife, GSBMS student and chair of the GSRF.

Oral Presentation Winner

Elizabeth A. Berry
Ronic Morphine Exposure Induces Cell Type Specific Changes in the Intrinsic Electro-Physiological Properties of Mouse Hypocretin/Orexin (H/O) Neurons

Faculty Sponsor: Christopher S. Leonard, Ph.D., professor of physiology and interim chair of the Department of Physiology

Poster Presentation Winner

Michelle Carnazza
Coding and Non-Coding RNA Determinants of Invasion and Migration in Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Faculty Sponsor: Jan Geliebter, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and of otolaryngology and course director of medical microbiology