More than 120 graduate students, faculty members and alumni from Penn State College of Medicine came together to build relationships and exchange ideas at the 30th annual Graduate Research Forum held March 1 and 2, 2018. The College of Medicine’s Graduate Student Association hosted the event at the College in Hershey.
“The Forum gives students an opportunity to present their research, either orally or in poster form, in a non-threatening and nurturing environment that provides constructive feedback,” said Charles Lang, distinguished professor of cellular and molecular physiology and surgery and associate dean for graduate studies.
Dr. David Antonetti, a College of Medicine alumnus and former faculty member, gave the keynote address, “A Career in Research: Expect the Unexpected.” Thirty years ago, Antonetti served as the student chair of the very first forum.
A professor at the Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan, Dr. Antonetti is working on treatments to prevent or reverse vision loss that can result from diabetes. “The most important thing about Forum,” says Antonetti, “is it gives everyone a chance to get out of lab and learn new techniques and ideas they can take back with them and include in their own work. It’s about gaining new insights, introspecting, and ultimately including new ideas in our work, pushing ourselves forward, and developing novel methods and ideas.”
This year’s forum began Thursday night with a dinner celebrating 30 years of research and concluded with the presentations of student research on Friday. Student chairs Jillian Weissenrieder and Jesica James, both third-year students in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program, led the planning of the event. James and Weissenrieder said they value the opportunity the forum provides for interactions with faculty and alumni.
“These conversations,” says Weissenreider, “lead to exciting new research ideas, collaborations and sometimes even future positions for students. I love to see how interactive and open the Penn State Hershey community is with research ideas.”
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