Congratulations to students who won research awards!

Graduate students, research scientists, and faculty gathered at the I Hotel and Conference Center earlier this month for the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology’s Graduate Research Retreat. The event brought together scholars from across the school to share scientific discoveries and learn more about the exciting research occurring in the school.

“Thank you to everyone who participated and helped with MCB’s Graduate Research event. This year was an immense success, and we hope to have many more in the future,” said Milan Bagchi, director of the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Deborah Paul Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Three oral presentations and three poster presentations were recognized with awards; winners are listed below.

Guest Speaker Dr. Mark S. Cohen delivered the talk, “What’s on the Horizon for Medical Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine?” Cohen is Dean of Carle Illinois College and Senior Vice President and Chief Officer of Carle Health, Professor of Surgery and Biomedical and Translational Sciences in the Carle Illinois College of Medicines, Founder Professor of Bioengineering in the Grainger College of Engineering, and a practicing Surgical Oncologist. 

Keynote Speaker Dr. Stephen A. Boppart presented on “Translating Optical Imaging Innovations to Impact Point-of-Care Diagnostics.” Boppart is a professor, physician-engineer, serial entrepreneur, director of the GSK Center for the Optical Molecular Imagining and NIH Center, and the Interim Director for the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Faculty speakers included Pamela P. Martinez, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Department of Statistics; Patrick R. Sweeney, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology; Joe Sanfilippo, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry; and Kevin Van Bortle, assistant professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology.

Many thanks to all who helped to make this event a success, including organizer Waad Ayoub, members of the student planning committee (Saika Hossain, Rayeed Ihsan, Tony Liu, Kritika Mehta, Jessica Palalay, Shashank Shastry, Eric Shinn, and Amber Wang), and the faculty advisory committee (Paola Mera, Xinzhu Yu, Brian Freeman, and Kai Zhang).

Graduate student research awards

Oral Presentation:
First place: Jacob Beal
Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Second place: Kritika Mehta
Department of Biochemistry

Third place: Tongyu Liu
Department of Microbiology

Poster Presentation:
First place (tie): Shweta Shree and Matt Sinclair
Department of Biochemistry

Second place: Robbie Ingram
Neuroscience Graduate Program