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The GSO News Volume 2, Issue 2, December 2010 www.mcg.edu/gradstudies/students.htm Medical College of Georgia Graduate Student Organization The GSO News 1 Inside this Issue GHSU: MCG’s Name Change Bundles of Books SGS and GSO Launch Career Seminar Series Student: Ahmed El-Awady Student: Christina Wilson MCG Student Leadership Institute Alumni: Kris Dhandapani Feature Article: Racing to Save Lives Happenings 1 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 8 September 15th, 2010 marked a major turning point for the Medical College of Georgia as the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved a request from MCG to change its name to Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU). The rationale behind this name change is based on how the mis- sion of MCG has broadened consider- ably since its founding as a medical college in 1828. As President Azziz has stated, “our ‘College’ is actually a ‘University’ with a focus not just in medicine but rather ‘Health Sciences’.” By continuing to refer to the institution at which we are enrolled as a ‘College’, Dr. Azziz feels this to be a “disservice in not highlight- ing the broad scope of our mission and ultimately affects the ability of MCG to be recognized for what it truly is.” Dr. Azziz has also stated that GHSU better defines MCG as what it is-“a compre- hensive health sciences university and a modern academic health center.” Furthermore, Dr. Azziz strongly feels that the name change will allow for the university to achieve the national recog- nition that is deserved with respect to competitive world rankings and reputation. Dr. Azziz points out that most similar institutions across the country have, at some point, changed their name to better reflect their true stature as health science universities, and MCG is no exception. The question that begs to be answered by many of us students is ‘Why change the name now?’ In communications that have been sent out to the entire MCG community we have been made aware that informal discussions of MCG’s name change have been ongoing for the last decade. MCG has consulted numerous research firms since 2007 to examine both local and nationwide per- ceptions of MCG. What was ultimately found was that while the local public had strong positive opinions of MCG, they did not consider MCG as a ‘univer- sity’. Likewise, more than 80% of those surveyed ‘strongly agreed’ that MCG as a name was associated only with the medical school. Further surveys of alumni and internal audiences showed a strong tie to the ‘Medical College of Georgia’ name and thus the resulting re- quest was made to the board of regents: GHSU: As a graduate student what does MCG’s name change mean to YOU Donations help provide books to needy children Colleen Carey Bundles of Books is a non-profit orga- nization whose mission is to improve the reading skills of underprivileged children through creating a joy of read- ing. The principle of this organization has been to provide books for children at Christmas, as an alternative to toys. …to “Bundles of Books”, pg. 2 Colleen Carey …to “Name Change”, pg. 4
Transcript
  • The GSO NewsVolume 2, Issue 2, December 2010

    www.mcg.edu/gradstudies/students.htmMedical College of Georgia Graduate Student Organization

    The GSO News 1

    Inside this Issue

    GHSU: MCGs Name Change

    Bundles of Books

    SGS and GSO Launch

    Career Seminar Series

    Student: Ahmed El-Awady

    Student: Christina Wilson

    MCG Student Leadership

    Institute

    Alumni: Kris Dhandapani

    Feature Article: Racing to

    Save Lives

    Happenings

    1

    1

    2

    3

    3

    4

    5

    6

    8

    September 15th, 2010 marked a major

    turning point for the Medical College of

    Georgia as the Board of Regents of the

    University System of Georgia approved

    a request from MCG to change its name

    to Georgia Health Sciences University

    (GHSU). The rationale behind this

    name change is based on how the mis-

    sion of MCG has broadened consider-

    ably since its founding as a medical

    college in 1828.

    As President Azziz has stated, our

    College is actually a University with

    a focus not just in medicine but rather

    Health Sciences. By continuing to

    refer to the institution at which we are

    enrolled as a College, Dr. Azziz feels

    this to be a disservice in not highlight-

    ing the broad scope of our mission and

    ultimately affects the ability of MCG to

    be recognized for what it truly is. Dr.

    Azziz has also stated that GHSU better

    defines MCG as what it is-a compre-

    hensive health sciences university and

    a modern academic health center.

    Furthermore, Dr. Azziz strongly feels

    that the name change will allow for the

    university to achieve the national recog-

    nition that is deserved with

    respect to competitive world rankings

    and reputation. Dr. Azziz points out

    that most similar institutions across the

    country have, at some point, changed

    their name to better reflect their true

    stature as health science universities,

    and MCG is no exception.

    The question that begs to be answered

    by many of us students is Why change

    the name now? In communications

    that have been sent out to the entire

    MCG community we have been made

    aware that informal discussions of

    MCGs name change have been ongoing

    for the last decade. MCG has consulted

    numerous research firms since 2007 to

    examine both local and nationwide per-

    ceptions of MCG. What was ultimately

    found was that while the local public

    had strong positive opinions of MCG,

    they did not consider MCG as a univer-

    sity. Likewise, more than 80% of those

    surveyed strongly agreed that MCG

    as a name was associated only with

    the medical school. Further surveys of

    alumni and internal audiences showed

    a strong tie to the Medical College of

    Georgia name and thus the resulting re-

    quest was made to the board of regents:

    GHSU: As a graduate student what does MCGs name change mean to YOU

    Donations help provide books to needy childrenColleen Carey

    Bundles of Books is a non-profit orga-

    nization whose mission is to improve

    the reading skills of underprivileged

    children through creating a joy of read-

    ing. The principle of this organization

    has been to provide books for children

    at Christmas, as an alternative to toys.

    to Bundles of Books, pg. 2

    Colleen Carey

    to Name Change, pg. 4

  • The GSO News 2

    This organization, founded by Mr.

    Chuck LaMarsh in 1996 serves chil-

    dren in both the Augusta, GA area and

    through Mr. Lamarshs son, the Boston,

    MA area. Last year, approximately 150

    children in the Augusta area were served

    through generous donations from area

    businesses and individuals who believed

    in the concept. This year, Bundles of

    Books is hoping to double this number.

    Dr. Carol Campbell, a professor here

    at MCG, and Dr. Kevin Frazier, Vice

    President of Student Services at MCG,

    became interested in helping the

    Bundles of Books organization and

    recruited a few students to help her in

    this endeavor. To them, they saw this

    as an opportunity not only to help out

    the community, but for individuals in

    the academic and medical professions to

    reflect upon the influence that reading

    has had in getting them to where they

    are today.

    Over a 1 week period, collection booths

    were set up in the library and student

    center during lunch period-and manned

    by students from all schools-, donations

    ranging from spare pocket change to

    more generous amounts allowed for the

    total amount raised on campus to be

    $258.69. This total collected will allow

    for Bundles of Books to purchase book

    bundles for 18 children with some

    spare change left over. Although this is

    the 1st year of MCGs participation, the

    positive outcome has provided for the

    possibility to be involved again in the

    future and hopefully double, if not fur-

    ther increase, what we as a community

    can provide to this organization.

    *Special thanks to Medical Illustration

    students Julie Coats and Megan

    Gullotto who provided the artwork

    which was used for on campus promo-

    tion purposes. O

    SGS and GSO Launch Career Seminar SeriesColleen Carey

    The School of Graduate Studies (SGS)

    along with the Graduate Student Orga-

    nization (GSO) has recently launched a

    new seminar series to provide informa-

    tion on career opportunities, paths and

    choices to graduate level students. The

    first installment of this series, What to

    look for when searching for a post doc-

    toral fellowship; a perspective from St.

    Jude Childrens Research Hospital, was

    presented by Dr. Linda Harris, Associ-

    ate Director of Academic Programs for

    St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital

    on November 3rd.

    The turnout of students for this seminar

    proved to be mostly BIOMED PhDs,

    those most likely to pursue a post doc-

    toral position, however attendees ranged

    from 1st years up to those students

    getting ready to defend. The session pro-

    vided by Dr. Harris contained informa-

    tion that was applicable to all students

    in attendance. The goal that Dr. Harris

    has in visiting schools to do special

    seminars as these is that of post doctoral

    recruitment and making sure that not

    only are graduate students aware of the

    opportunities available at St. Jude, but

    also to help students to prepare to begin

    a post doctoral position search wherever

    they may be interested.

    Dr. Harris presentation began with

    an overview of the facility and area

    surrounding St. Jude, which is located

    in Memphis, and then segued into a

    more general set of steps to take when

    searching for a post doctoral fellowship.

    These steps are outlined briefly here:

    1) Choose an institution that is a place

    where you would want to work, i.e.

    ability for translational research to be

    directly applied, array of research areas,

    2) Choose a mentor carefully, someone

    who not only are you compatible with

    but that also has your bet interests

    at heart, 3) Choose a project that is

    interesting to you but that also allows

    for you to continue to learn new skills

    and techniques, 4) Choose an institu-

    tion with laboratory and core facilities

    that may benefit your research, 5) Select

    a position while keeping in mind the

    scientific infrastructure. Be aware of the

    interactions occurring around you, spe-

    cifically the abundance of collaborations

    and continuing education opportunities

    such as seminar series, 6) determine

    if the position you are applying for is

    institutionally supported. That is, are

    there facilities dedicated to post doc-

    toral fellow affairs? Are good benefits

    provided to post doctoral fellows? And

    finally, 7) choose a position in a location

    that meets the desires that are impor-

    tant to you.

    Now that you know how to seek out a

    post doctoral position that is best for

    you, when should you begin looking for

    one? Dr. Harris suggests beginning to

    seek out positions of interest in your last

    year of thesis work. Interviews should

    be conducted about 6 months before

    your defense. With regards to St. Jude,

    Dr. Harris shared that each year there

    are about 60-80 post doctoral fellowship

    openings, so opportunities are available.

    Furthermore, for those who

    to Seminar Series, pg. 7

    ...from Bundles of Books, pg. 1

  • The GSO News 3

    CURRENT STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

    Ahmed El-AwadyNamita Hattangady

    Ahmed El-Awady is a first year student

    of the Biomedical Sciences, Ph.D.

    program in Dr. B. Babans laboratory

    in the Department of Oral Biology.

    Ahmeds research focuses on the peri-

    odontal ligament fibroblasts (PDLFs)

    and their potential role in chronic peri-

    odontitis, specifically with regards to the

    progression of the inflammatory front

    into the deeper tissues. His studies also

    focus on the cross-talk between PDLFs,

    in both healthy and diseased states, and

    immune T cells to elucidate what con-

    stitutes protective and destructive host

    response in periodontitis.

    Ahmed is originally from Cairo, Egypt,

    where he practiced as a periodontist

    before joining MCGs PhD program.

    His experience in periodontics and

    research made him realize the signifi-

    cance of translating the clinical needs

    into research projects. He believes that

    the graduate program at MCG will allow

    him the time to fully commitment to

    gaining the necessary scientific knowl-

    edge and experience that he aspires to

    achieve.

    Ahmed already has two first author

    publications in the Journal of Periodon-

    tology and Tissue Engineering Part C:

    Methods. Outside of school, Ahmed is a

    family man and enjoys spending his free

    hours with his wife and son. He also en-

    joys reading, participating in sports and

    travel whenever he gets the opportunity.

    In the future, Ahmed wishes to estab-

    lish a career in academics and hopes to

    apply his research experience in clinical

    periodontics while also contributing

    towards advancement in education in

    periodontics. The GSO wishes Ahmed

    all the best for his future endeavors!

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by A

    hmed

    El-A

    wad

    y

    Christina WilsonNamita Hattangady

    Christina Wilson is a student of

    Biomedical Sciences, Ph.D. in the

    program of Neuroscience. She is a fifth

    year graduate student and a part of the

    research laboratory of Dr Alvin Terry

    Jr. in the Department of Pharmacology

    and Toxicology. The objective of Chris-

    tinas research is to evaluate a variable

    prenatal stress model as a valid drug

    discovery platform for schizophrenia.

    Christina chose to join the Terry Lab

    because of her keen interest in neuro-

    psychiatric illnesses and the treatment

    of associated cognitive deficits.

    Christina is native to Augusta and chose

    MCG based upon the wide ranging

    areas of research as well as having an

    impressive graduate program. While at

    MCG, she has had two first author pub-

    lications and shares authorship on sev-

    eral additional manuscripts. Christina

    has been the recipient of many awards

    while at MCG including: Award for

    Excellence in Research at the Graduate

    Research Day 2010, the Pharmacology

    and Toxicology Graduate Symposium

    Award and a travel award.

    Besides her academic achievements,

    Christina has been actively participating

    in several student body groups and has

    held the posts of Vice President of the

    Graduate Student Organization 2008-

    09, Student Government Association

    representative 2009-10, and Graduate

    Council Student Representative. She

    has also been a part of the Society of

    Neuroscience, and has participated in

    various community service and local

    fund raising programs.

    Christinas advice to fellow students is as

    follows, Graduate school life is full of

    ups and downs. Just hang in there- the

    rewards are worth it. The GSO wishes

    Christina the best in all her future

    endeavors! O

    O

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by D

    avie

    s A

    gyek

    um

  • The GSO News 4

    The Medical College of Georgia School

    of Medicine will be renamed as simply

    The Medical College of Georgia and

    the remaining Schools will be renamed

    as such: College of Allied Health Sci-

    ences, College of Dental Medicine,

    College of Graduate Studies, and Col-

    lege of Nursing.

    Now that the new naming has been

    approved and will be implemented

    on February 1, 2011, there are many

    changes that students should be aware

    of, specifically the following:

    1) Your MCG email address. Although

    your current mcg.edu email address will

    continue to work for a few months after

    the effective date of the name change,

    all students will be transitioned to new

    ghsu.edu email addresses. Assistance

    will be available for notifying all of your

    contacts of the new email address. For

    any questions on this matter please do

    not hesitate to contact Information

    Technology & Services.

    What to do until the switch?

    What has been suggested to make your

    contacts, collaborators, etc. aware of the

    upcoming name change are the use of

    new GHSU Marks and Signatures that

    have been made available. These are

    available for download at http://www.

    mcg.edu/identity/ghsu/ and questions

    about using or obtaining these graphics

    should be directed to [email protected]

    mcg.edu

    2) Your diploma. From February 1

    onward, graduates will be presented

    with a newly designed diploma bearing

    the Georgia Health Sciences University

    name; however graduates of the classes

    of 2011-15 will be offered the option

    Graduate students chosen to partici-pate in the inaugural class of MCGs Student Leadership InstituteColleen Carey

    What is it that defines a leader?

    Ask any one of the graduate students

    selected to participate in MCGs Stu-

    dent Leadership Institute (SLI) and its

    likely that each will give you a different

    answer. Although Websters diction-

    ary defines a leader as one who goes

    before to guide or show the way; directs

    some action, opinion or movement;

    has the authority to precede and direct;

    is followed by others in conduct, etc.

    what is perhaps the main thing that

    these students have taken away from

    this course is that there are many myths

    about leaders/leadership which can

    alter the definition of a leader that each

    individual has.

    The course was divided into six 1.5 hour

    sessions consisting of lectures on general

    leadership concepts followed by presen-

    tations from various leaders on MCGs

    campus. Topics of the sessions included

    Social and Cultural Issues in Health-

    care, Leadership in Academic Health

    Sciences Centers, Legal Issues and Pub-

    lic Relations, and Professionalism and

    Social Responsibilities. Additionally, all

    students were separated into leadership

    work teams to conceive, plan and pres-

    ent a project that enhances the campus

    or local community. These projects were

    then presented in the final session and

    scored by a panel of judges. All propos-

    als were then shared with the Provosts

    staff and other campus leaders, with the

    top scoring projects being given consid-

    eration for start-up funding.

    The Student Leadership Institute was

    developed and directed by Dr. Kevin

    Frazier, Vice President for Student Ser-

    vices and Development, with the goal of

    equipping student leaders with

    to Leadership, pg. 7

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by D

    r. Pa

    tric

    ia C

    amer

    on

    School of Graduate Studies participants in the 2010 Student Leadership Institute along with Dr. Patricia Cameron

    ...from Name Change, pg. 1

    to Name Change, pg. 9

  • The GSO News 5

    2nd Annual Graduate Student

    Organization Fall Camping Trip

    Hamilton Branch State ParkSeptember 10-12, 2010

    ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTKris DhandapaniColleen Carey

    Kris Dhandapani, aside from being an

    MCG Alumni, is a core faculty member

    in the Department of Neurosurgery.

    Dr. Dhandapani grew up in Vernon,

    CT (a suburb of Hartford). He obtained

    his B.S. and M.S. from the University

    of Connecticut with a concentration

    in Physiology and Neurobiology. Dr.

    Dhandapani then earned his Ph D.

    from MCG, in Molecular Medicine

    under Dr. Darrell Brann. Upon comple-

    tion of his Ph D. in 2003, Dr. Dhan-

    dapani remained at MCG in a postdoc-

    toral research associate position in the

    Institute of Molecular Medicine and

    Genetics for a year before continuing to

    a postdoctoral research fellow position

    with the Department of Neuroscience

    at the University of Connecticut Health

    Center. In 2005, Dr. Dhandapani ac-

    cepted a position as Assistant Professor

    in the Department of Neurosurgery

    here at the Medical College of Geor-

    gia. In 2010 he was awarded Associate

    Professor.

    The research in his lab is based in

    translational neuroscience with two

    major goals: (1) to elucidate the cellular

    mechanisms underlying neurovascular

    injury following hemorrhagic stroke

    and traumatic brain injury and (2) to

    develop novel therapeutic agents which

    may translate into clinical practice.

    Particularly, the lab is exploring novel

    therapeutic approaches to limit the size

    of blood clots in the brain following

    intracerebral hemorrhage with an ulti-

    mate goal of establishing a clinical trial

    based on this research within the next

    several years.

    When asked about his most rewarding

    experience at MCG, Dr. Dhandapani

    stated Teaching and training students

    is something I value, so watching my stu-

    dents develop in to productive scientists

    is very rewarding. I was very fortunate to

    have outstanding mentors in my own

    Collage by Colleen Carey

    to Dhandapani, pg. 9

  • The GSO News 6

    Racing to Save LivesSamuel Herberg

    On September 26, Jason Covar (Tech-

    nician in Dr. Athertons lab) and I

    participated in the second edition of the

    ESI Ironman 70.3 Augusta as mem-

    bers of The Leukemia & Lymphoma

    Societys Team In Training program

    (http://www.teamintraining.org/). More

    than 3,100 professional and age group

    athletes swam for 1.2 miles in the Savan-

    nah River, biked for 56 miles in both

    Georgia and South Carolina, and finally

    ran for 13.1 miles right in the heart of

    our city. But for Jason and I it wasnt

    only about racing. Together with all our

    Team In Training Georgia teammates

    including Mayor Copenhaver, we raised

    over $350,000 for the Leukemia and

    Lymphoma Society and thus made a

    huge contribution to help saving lives -

    one mile at a time.

    Since its inception in 1988, The Leu-

    kemia & Lymphoma Societys Team In

    Training program has prepared more

    than 390,000 people (approximately

    40,000 participants annually) to achieve

    their dream of completing a challenging

    endurance event, e.g., marathon, half

    marathon, triathlon, century bicycle

    ride or hike adventure.

    And, in that time, participants have

    raised over $950 million to support

    blood cancer research and patient ser-

    vices. The enormous success of this pro-

    gram has helped make possible advances

    in blood cancer therapies and

    to Racing, pg. 7

    Graduate Students

    Scare up some fun

    Halloween 2010

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by S

    amue

    l Her

    berg

    Collage by Colleen Carey

  • The GSO News 7

    ...from Leadership, pg. 4

    the proper leadership tools to help them

    be more effective in their various roles.

    Dr. Frazier also saw this institute as an

    opportunity for students to learn from

    each other and with with/help one

    another and he stated that if anything

    that was taught in this course that

    helped the students to do this better in

    any way than this institute has proven

    its worth.

    When asking some of the graduate

    students chosen for this institute how

    this course has made them a better

    leader, Medical Illustration student Paul

    Kim states It [the course] has helped

    to keep me accountable by reminding

    me a leader needs to lead by example.

    Nursing PhD student Sandra Inglett

    states that one of the most valuable

    experiences for me has been time

    management. This class is in addition

    to all my other responsibilities (i.e.

    classwork, GRA work, and family) leav-

    ing very little extra time to devote to the

    interview, project and reflective paper.

    So being forced to manage every minute

    to accomplish all the tasks has been my

    most valuable experience. I realize that

    this is not at the top of the list for being

    a leader but it is something that every

    successful leader must be able to do and

    do well!

    In summary, this first installment of the

    Student Leadership Institute served the

    purpose of not only bringing together

    student leaders from each of the differ-

    ent schools on campus, but also to

    provide insight into some of the charac-

    teristics that have made these individu-

    als into the leaders that they have be-

    come. From those that have participated

    in this institute it is hoped that the pro-

    gram is continued and allowed to grow

    and develop in an attempt to reinforce

    the common goals that each student

    leader at this university has. Congratula-

    tions to the Fall 2010 participants!

    Fall 2010 Student Leadership Participants

    and Program Affiliation

    Davies Agyekum, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    Colleen Carey, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    Tehrae Heflin, CNL 2010

    Samuel Herberg, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    Patrick Hosey, CNL 2010

    Sandra Inglett, Nursing PhD

    Paul Kim, Medical Illustration

    Caroline McKinnon, Nursing PhD

    Paramita Pati, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    Katie Spitler, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    Scott Webster, Biomedical Sciences PhD

    ...from Racing, pg. 6

    treatments that have prolonged and

    enhanced the lives of hundreds of thou-

    sands of patients.

    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

    is the worlds largest voluntary health

    agency dedicated to blood cancer with

    an important mission: Finding a cure

    for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins

    disease and myeloma, and improve the

    quality of life of patients and their fami-

    lies. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer

    research around the world and provides

    free information and support services.

    ...from Seminar Series, pg. 2

    may be interested in pursuing further

    research at St. Jude, Dr. Harris did share

    information about the National Gradu-

    ate Student Symposium that is offered

    for students who are within 1 year from

    defending. Each year approximately 40

    students nationwide are selected to

    participate in this symposium.

    O

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by S

    amue

    l Her

    berg

    O

    Dr. Harris is available for contact should

    anyone who was unable to attend the

    seminar be interested in learning more

    about the positions available at St. Jude,

    or opportunities for the National Grad-

    uate Student Symposium. Her email is

    [email protected] Additionally,

    if you are looking to get a perspective of

    what being a post doctoral fellow at St.

    Jude is like, MCG alum Aisha Walker

    can also be contacted at [email protected]

    stjude.org. O

  • The GSO News 8

    HAPPENINGS

    Moataz Elkasrawy, would like to share

    with the GSO News community that he

    recently was awarded the ASBMR 2010

    Presidents Poster Competition Award

    at the annual meeting of The American

    Society for Bone and Mineral Research

    held in Toronto, Canada.

    Georgia Life SciencesSummit 2010The Georgia Life Sciences Summit for

    2010, considered to be the preeminent

    gathering of scientists and industry deci-

    sion makers for Georgias life sciences

    community was held at AmericasMart

    in Atlanta Georgia on October 28.

    This summit serves yearly as an ideal

    medium to foster relationships for fu-

    ture scientific and business growth and

    opportunity. The 2010 theme was that

    of Innovation for a Healthier World:

    Meeting the Challenge in recognition

    of the evolving trends surrounding the

    challenges that face the life sciences

    today.

    MCGs representation at the summit

    varied from President Azziz serving as

    a plenary speaker to presentations by

    numerous faculty and students. Gradu-

    ate students participated in the poster

    session which was open to all represen-

    tatives from Georgia-based academia,

    research institutes and industry. The

    Graduate Student News would like to

    acknowledge the following participants

    in the 2010 Summit for their prestigious

    representation of the graduate programs

    here at MCG: Sara Akeel, Elena Asta-

    pova, Lakiea Bailey, Moataz Elkasrawy,

    Jenna Gallops, Samuel Herberg, Xiaolin

    Hu, Jae Kim, Folami Lamoke, Laurie

    Landrum, Lingquian Li, Chintan Patel,

    Mutsa Seremwe, Jutamas Suwanpradid,

    Jinling Yang and Mary Zimmerman.

    Overall 130 posters were presented at

    the Summit and 3 out of the 5 total

    awards were won by MCG people.

    Congrats to graduate student Moataz

    Elkasrawy for being awarded the 2010

    Anthony Shuker Scientific Poster

    Award.

    Southern Translational Edu-cation and Research Confer-ence (STaR)Date: September 10-11, 2010

    To improve human health, scientific

    discoveries must be translated into

    practical applications. Such discoveries

    typically begin at the bench with basic

    research in which scientists study

    disease at a molecular or cellular level

    then progress to the clinical level, or the

    patients bedside.

    Scientists are increasingly aware that

    this bench-to-bedside approach to

    translational research is really a two-way

    street. Basic scientists provide clinicians

    with new tools for use in patients and

    for assessment of their impact, and

    clinical researchers make novel observa-

    tions about the nature and progression

    of disease that often stimulate basic

    investigations.

    Translational research has proven to be

    a powerful process that drives the clini-

    cal research engine. However, a stronger

    research infrastructure could strengthen

    and accelerate this critical part of the

    clinical research enterprise. The NIH

    Roadmap attempts to catalyze transla-

    tional research in various ways.

    The overall goal of this conference was

    to improve translational education and

    research in the southeast through aca-

    demic and institutional collaboration.

    This year, the conference was held here

    in Augusta at the Augusta Mariott and

    Hotel Suites and was cosponsored by the

    Medical College of Georgia as well as the

    phot

    ogra

    phy

    by M

    oata

    z E

    lkas

    awry

    Group of students enjoying dinner at the 2010 Georgia Life Sciences Summit in Atlanta, GA

    to STaR, pg. 9

  • The GSO News 9

    Whats the difference you ask?

    The Medical College of Georgia diplo-

    ma is printed in Latin on 18x22 cream

    stock and the new Georgia Health Sci-

    ences University diploma will be printed

    in English on 18X22 stock of a slightly

    lighter color.

    Regardless of whether your diploma

    reads Medical College of Georgia or

    Georgia Health Sciences University,

    Dr. Azziz reassures us that this docu-

    ment will be a tremendous source of

    pride throughout [our] lives.

    Should anyone have further questions

    regarding the name change please visit

    http://name.mcg.edu O

    career and I now feel lucky to have the

    opportunity to share my knowledge and

    experiences with the next generation of

    scientists. I also take great pride in the

    achievements and accomplishments of

    my students and fellows. My students

    have won a number of regional, nation-

    al, and international awards, published

    numerous high impact manuscripts,

    and obtained their own extramural

    grants from several funding sources.

    While at MCG as a student, Dr. Dhan-

    dapani considered himself a lab rat

    and therefore was not actively involved

    in any student organizations. Currently,

    however, Dr. Dhandapani serves as the

    Presided of the MCG School of Gradu-

    ate Studies Alumni Association and also

    serves on the Neuroscience Executive

    Committee. Outside of MCG Dr. Dhan-

    dapani enjoys spending time with his

    wife and 3 children and rooting on the

    variety of team sports that he is a fan of.

    Dr. Dhandapanis advice for current

    students is that Each student should

    find something they are passionate

    about, set the bar high, and work hard

    toward this goal everyday. With regards

    to specific skills for success, he states

    time management is probably the most

    important skill that leads to successful

    careers as a scientist. We all get down

    time throughout the day; however,

    this time is not always utilized wisely.

    Use this time to read current journals,

    follow you own field, write manuscripts,

    prepare for the next experiments, etc.

    Other advice that Dr. Dhandapani of-

    fers includes the concept that one can

    never read enough literature, and the

    ability to preserve and take construc-

    tive criticism. His last bit of advice is to

    Work hard, Read Read Read the litera-

    ture, and publish often. Dr. Dhanda-

    pani also would like students to know

    that he can be contacted at anytime

    via email or phone for further advice

    or other questions they may have. The

    GSO thanks Dr. Dhandapani for taking

    time to share with us his story! O

    University of Georgia.

    The conference included state-of-the-

    art topics in clinical and translational

    science as well as opportunities for

    attendees to showcase their research

    and network to develop regional col-

    laborators. Research and educational

    opportunities through regional Clinical

    & Translational Science Award (CTSA)

    Institutions were provided. Excellence

    in clinical and translational science was

    specifcally recognized during the meet-

    ing through STAR Graduate Student,

    Post-Doctoral Fellow and Young Investi-

    gator Awards.

    Medical College of Georgia Students in

    attendance along with their Principal

    Investigator are listed below. Congratu-

    lations to all for your participation!

    Hye Hun Choi- Dr. Webb

    R. David Fessler- Dr. Dhandapani

    Cody Freeman- Dr. Cashikar

    Kristy Howell- Dr. Pillai

    Ahmed Ibrahim- Dr. Liou

    M.D. King- Dr. Dhandapani

    Hicham Labazi- Dr. Webb

    Melissa Laird- Dr. Dhandapani

    Deepesh Pandey- Dr. Fulton

    Chintan Patel- Dr. Caldwell

    Chaitanya Patwardhan- Dr. Chadli

    Roshini Prakash- Dr. Ergul

    Jin Qian- Dr. Fulton

    Frank Spradley- Dr. Jennifer Pollock

    J. Suwanpradid- Dr. Ruth Caldwell

    Rui Wang- Dr. Browning

    Brandi Wynne- Dr. Webb O

    ...from STaR, pg. 8

    ...from Name Change, pg. 4

    ...from Dhandapani, pg. 5

  • The GSO News 10

    Contact Information

    Websitehttp://www.mcg.edu/gradstudies/students.htm

    Facebook GroupStudents of MCG GSO

    [email protected]

    Newsletter Staff

    Chief EditorColleen Carey

    EditorsNamita Hattangady Samuel Herberg

    Paramita Pati

    Layout DesignJoshua Bird

    AddressGraduate Student Organization

    School of Graduate Studies

    Medical College of Georgia

    1120 15th St. CJ 2201

    Augusta, GA 30912-1500

    Happy

    Holidays The Graduate Student Organization wishes you and your

    families a very happy and safe Holiday season

    See you in 2011!


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