The 10th Annual GDBBS DSAC Symposium

by Mariana Mandler

Every year the Division Student Advisory Council (DSAC) representatives run a one-day long student research symposium that gives graduate students in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS) the opportunity to present their work to the entire division, which includes every program under the umbrella. Students get to experience the competitive nature of science in the comfort of our own university. Students are chosen to give talks based on the caliber of their submitted abstracts, or have the option to give poster presentations. Students can also submit an image for the image contest. Post-doctorate volunteers judge the talks, poster presentations, and images and first, second and third place awards are distributed at the end of the day. At this 10th annual DSAC symposium, students from our own BCDB program gave fantastic presentations and some were even awarded for their efforts. sincere congratulations to Katie Williams, 4th year student in the Bassell lab, a third place winner, and Sharon Soucek, 5th year student in the Corbett lab, a second place winner, for poster presentations. Although this is an entirely student run event, the students get a break at the close of the talks when an invited professor delivers a keynote presentation. This year we had the pleasure to learn from Dr. Stephen T. Warren about his incredible career path in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic disorder Fragile X syndrome, the most common hereditary form of intellectual disability in males. Learning how to translate and communicate what you do everyday in lab into a solid research project that is appealing even to people outside of your field of study is easier said than done, and having the opportunity to practice this every year at such a venue is invaluable. In addition to being able to hear about the great variety of research that is going on in our program and others, students get the benefit of practicing poster presentation and oral communication skills that are invaluable to networking within the scientific community—particularly at meetings. A many thanks to our DSAC representative Julie Fritz and to the rest of the DSAC committee for continually organizing a great event.