SBP OETIS Chronicle - FY2017 Q1

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The Office of Education, Training, & International Services


Supporting the Development

of Young Scientists

More in this issue: ‣ GSBS’ 10 Year Anniversary ‣ NPAW

‣ Postdoc Symposium ‣ Preuss 2 Week Research Program ‣ New GSBS Students ‣ Upcoming Events & More!

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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Office of Education, Training, & International Services Staff Diane M Klotz, PhD Director

Meet the Grad Program’s new Manager,

Mary B. Bradley!


Education & Training Nisha A Cavanaugh, PhD Manager, Postdoctoral & Academic Programs

Mary B Bradley, MLA Manager, Graduate School Sharon Schendel, PhD Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Training Specialist Alexia Pimentel Program Coordinator

International Services Doug Broadhurst, MA Manager, International Services Susie Bolor Senior International Advisor

Leadership Support Guy Salvesen, PhD Faculty Advisor, Graduate Education Malene Hansen, PhD Faculty Advisor, Postdoctoral Training Julie Cooke Sr. Vice President, Human Resources

The OETIS team is excited to welcome Mary B. Bradley to SBP as the new Manager of Graduate Program Administration. Most recently, Mary was the founding Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) was created in November 2002 to support postdocs primarily at the School of Medicine. Upon approval by the Administration, Mary led a committee to implement postdoctoral policies and benefits University-wide, and continued to provide oversight and input throughout her tenure at Washington University. In her Director role, Mary oversaw a variety of activities for approximately 450 postdocs, including professional and career development seminars and social activities, an annual Postdoc Symposium, and an annual Grant-Writing workshop. Additionally, Mary worked closely with administration, faculty, The Career Center, Human Resources, and the International Office. She also worked closely with the Office of Faculty Affairs and the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences Diversity Programs. Her responsibilities also included postdoc communications and a weekly e-newsletter, data analysis, and development of recruiting mechanisms. Mary enjoys working with faculty and trainees in higher education and she understands the importance of early education and training for future career options. After many years of working with postdocs, she is looking forward to bringing her talents to the GSBS graduate students, to help them earn their PhD, and obtain the training they need to be successful in the future. Mary is originally from St. Louis, MO. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from The American University in Washington D.C., and a Master of Liberal Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She worked for the United States Olympic Committee and the Park City, Utah Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau prior to joining Washington University in St. Louis. Mary’s office is located in Building 1 in Room 1219, directly behind the reception desk. Stop by to say hello anytime!

Preuss 2-Week Summer Research Experience by Alexia Pimentel, Program Coordinator This past July, incoming juniors at the Preuss School at UCSD had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a 2-week summer research program at SBP. The program consisted of lectures and experiments in the laboratories of Duc Dong, Crystal Zhao, Rolf Bodmer, and Malene Hansen, followed by lunch with each lab’s staff. The students were also able to go on a tour at Illumina, a local biotechnology company. The program ended with a luncheon, where program donors and students’ families were invited to celebrate the students’ initiative to explore careers in biomedical research. Each student was presented with a certificate and a small stipend for completing the program. The Philanthropy department and OETIS collaborated to ensure the program’s success.

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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GSBS Celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary

By Guy Salvesen, PhD, Dean of GSBS & Alexia Pimentel, Program Coordinator

Ten years ago, SBP faculty made a collective decision to initiate an internal graduate program to educate and train students towards a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences. As a research organization we had been training students in our labs for over 25 years, but those students had an educational home in other institutions, primarily UCSD, but also from universities around the world. We would regularly host 4-6 doctoral students a year who were registered at their home institution, and each would spend 3-5 years in our labs learning scientific skills from one of our faculty members. It was clear to us that there existed a very talented population of students who passionately wanted to train in SBP labs with our faculty. A number of events contributed to our decision – our faculty was growing rapidly and maturing in diverse biomedical research areas, UCSD was undergoing substantial internal revisions that would alter our access to students, and we were developing a culture of education. One may ask why a top-notch organization dedicated to scientific research should embark on an educational initiative. A poll of faculty at the time revealed that about one third wanted us to start our own program. We reasoned that we could provide a unique educational experience for the population of students who would seek out SBP faculty - we would educate them in innovative ways that derived from the culture and scientific ethos of SBP. A milestone in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) was achieved when the Institute incorporated education as a part of its mission, followed by accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in 2015. From the first cohort of 5 individuals, the innovative tutorials system was introduced, giving students a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with Faculty outside of their respective labs. The program also initiated an open education policy with UCSD Biomedical Sciences and The Scripps Research Institute’s graduate programs, making it easy for students from all three programs to take courses on each campus. Collaboration with UCSD, where students initially took courses, was essential to the start of the program. We adapted what we learned from UCSD and determined diverging avenues to explore that would better suit our unique population. Benchmarking with other institutions was also implemented, to keep the program competitive and identify ways to train students using best practices at high-level thinking. Leadership at GSBS has then created a group with Graduate Only Institutions (including Cedars Sinnai, City of Hope, UCSF, and TSRI) to discuss and compare teaching methods. Unique facets of the GSBS program include student participation in diversity outreach and mentoring of aspiring young scientists from the Preuss School (UCSD) and Fresno State University. Students particularly appreciate the opportunity to focus on research from their first day in the lab. Since its founding in 2006, GSBS has awarded 27 Ph.D. degrees and its students have published over one hundred papers. Plans for the future include leveraging SBP’s unique position in the areas of basic and translational research, enhancing access of our students to internships in the biotechnology community, and establishing a comprehensive curriculum that prepares our graduates for their next career step.

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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New GSBS students arrive on the SBP Campus By Sha r on Sc hendel , Gr adua t e a nd P ost doct or al Educ at ion Special ist The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is delighted to welcome its newest students: (from right to left) Ayako Murao, Katja Birker, Joe Fromm, and Pavel Ryzhov During the new student orientation, the students discussed their reasons for choosing SBP. Ayako noted: “My career goal is to work at a research institute… and focus on investigations in the field of cancer research.” She believes that the biggest advantage that SBP offers her is the opportunity to work with experienced scientists across a broad range of fields. Reflecting on his internship at SBP, Joe Fromm said: “During my [internship in the] Cosford Lab, I was able to grow my scientific curiosity and knowledge under the guidance of the lab members. I loved the work, environment, and the people of the entire institute and knew it would be a great place to further my education. I trust that here I will have the support of the researchers' knowledge and expertise while having the freedom to pursue my own scientific endeavors." GSBS Dean Dr. Guy Salvesen said: “We’re excited to have our newest graduate students at GSBS. As with our previous classes, this talented group is poised to take advantage of the features that make GSBS unique.” Dr. Salvesen added that the ability of the GSBS to tailor coursework to each student’s research, together with its “admit to fit” policy that matches students with faculty mentors before they arrive on campus, is critical for helping GSBS students develop into biomedical scientists equipped with skills that make them attractive to both industry and academic research. The streamlined class load and “admit to fit” policy that allows students to begin their research projects immediately also contribute to the program’s average time to degree completion of 4.7 years, which is significantly below the 1 national annual average of around 6 years for life science doctorates . Pavel Ryzhov echoed many of the reasons that GSBS students pursue doctoral research at SBP: “I chose SBP because of unparalleled attention to every student. Due to the small class size, individual and effective training is an integral part of the curriculum. SBP not only has a world-class faculty but also a vast array of facilities and resources and it has an ability to utilize all of them in a unique and comprehensive way so that the students have all the tools for their success.” (1)

Survey of Earned Doctorates: Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities (2015) [online]

15th Annual Postdoc Symposium by Sharon Schendel, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Specialist

The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) Science Network (SBP-SN) held its th 15 Annual Postdoc Symposium on September 15 at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. The symposium kicked off National Postdoc Appreciation Week at SBP and showcased some of the best research from SBP postdocs, graduate students, and staff scientists. Postdoctoral Faculty Advisor Dr. Malene Hansen began the event with her talk: “Postdoc to PI” that outlined effective strategies that postdocs can use to secure a faculty position. The highlight of the day was Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Laureate and Salk Institute President, whose keynote address: “Perspectives on Telomeres and Telomerase in Human Aging and Cancers” discussed how telomere length and telomerase activity are involved in human health and disease. Over 100 SBP faculty, staff, and trainees attended the event, which offered eight oral presentations and over 20 posters covering wide-ranging topics, including neurodegenerative diseases, muscle diseases, bioinformatics, chemical and structural biology, and cancer. Dr. Bernhard Lechtenberg’s (Dr. Stefan Riedl’s lab) talk was awarded best oral presentation, and Dr. Jessica Chang (Hansen lab) was recognized for the best poster. They each received cash awards to use towards career development activities. SBP President Kristiina Vuori closed the symposium by emphasizing that SBP trainees generate the bulk of the findings that make SBP one of the top research institutes, and that she enjoyed having the opportunity to hear presentations from the people who are doing the actual research. The podium presentations were followed by the poster sessions, where trainees and faculty had the chance to mingle with SBP benefactors and advisors as they discussed their research while enjoying wine and light hors d’oeuvres. The day concluded with the presentation of Fishman Fund awards, where Dr. Joana Borlido (Dr. Maximiliano D’Angelo’s lab) was the inaugural recipient of the Fishman Fund Fellowship, and Dr. Bernhard Lechtenberg and Dr. Jia (Zack) Shen (Dr. Charles Spruck’s lab) each received a Fishman Fund Career Development Award. SBP-SN is an association of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at SBP. Since its founding in 1999, SBP-SN has sought to foster social and scientific networking among young researchers at SBP and with similar groups on the Torrey Pines mesa.

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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OETIS organized National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) events for our 152 postdocs across the La Jolla and Lake Nona Campuses. Some of the events include a networking event with the San Diego Biotechnology Network, the annual Coffee and Smoothie Cart, catered lunches, and professional development workshops.

From top to bottom, left to right: Top: La Jolla postdocs enjoying the Postdoc Appreciation BBQ lunch. 2nd Row: Left: At the Appreciation BBQ lunch, CEO Perry Dr. Nisen thanked the postdocs on behalf of the Institute and participated in the inaugural SBP postdoc group photo. Middle: OETIS Staff and faculty wore stickers recognizing their appreciation of postdocs. Right: Lake Nona postdocs at the Postdoc Appreciation luncheon. 3rd Row: Left: La Jolla postdocs gather for an afternoon break to enjoy free coffee and smoothies. Right: Postdocs participate in a speed networking event with members of the San Diego Biotechnology Network. Bottom: At the Postdoc Appreciation Reception, Lake Nona Scientific Director, Dr. Dan Kelly, thanks the postdocs on behalf of the Institute.

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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OETIS recognizes our trainees’ recent accomplishments:

Matthew Tierney Mentor: Alessandra Sacco

Dr. Jose Nieto Torres Postdoc, Hansen Lab Received a Fundación Ramón Areces Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Paulina Kasperkiewicz

GSBS Graduate: Sept 2016

Thesis: Regulatory mechanisms controlling muscle stem cell behavior during skeletal muscle repair

Postdoc, Salvesen Lab Won Best Poster Award at the Gordon Conference on Cell Death

Upcoming Events Careers & Coffee: Grants Management Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 10 – 11 am in Building 5, Room 5332 Guest Panelist: Krissa Smith, PhD (Scientific Grants Manager, Susan G. Komen Foundation) Register here:

If you would like to submit a piece to be added to the next issue, please contact Alexia at We are always looking for contributions from SBP Postdocs and Graduate Students!

Interviewing & Negotiating for an Academic Faculty Position Thursday, October 20, 2016, 10 – 11:30 am in Fishman Auditorium Guest Speaker: Kim Barrett, PhD (Dean of Graduate Division, UCSD) Register here:

CV/Resume Review Session

In the Next Issue. . .

Wednesday, October 26, 10 am – 12 pm in Building 5, Room 5332 No registration required! Come walk in if you want CV/Resume feedback.

IDP Workshop: Planning for Career Success Thursday, October 27, 10 am – 12 pm in Fishman Auditorium Co-Presenters: Nisha Cavanaugh, PhD & Susie Bolor (OETIS)

Careers & Coffee: Regulatory Affairs Thursday, November 3, 2:30 – 3:30 pm in Building 5, Room 5332 Guest Panelist: Mark Rashkin, PhD (Assoc. Director of Regulatory Affairs, Janssen Pharmaceuticals)

For a full calendar and more information about upcoming events, visit: http://intranet/academicsupport/otas/workshops/Pages/default.aspx

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Hula Hoopers SBP Postdoctoral Leadership Development Program: First Impressions

Please contact for any questions or concerns.

On Friday, August 26, the SBP “Leading Yourself & Others to Career Success” leadership development program had their kick-off module meeting. The program invites Postdoctoral Trainees from UCSD, Salk, TSRI, and our campus to learn more about leadership styles to assist in advancing their careers. To learn more about the program, visit

OETIS Chronicle

Issue Three: Fall 2016

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