SBP OETIS Chronicle - FY2017 Q2

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OETIS Chronicle

The Office of Education, Training, & International Services

In this issue: ‣ SBP Postdoc Alumni Profile ‣ OETIS Staff Hula Hoops ‣ Fall Graduates ‣ Workshop and Seminar Series ‣ Upcoming Events & More!

Graduate Student Excellence Roisin Delaney (Powis Lab) won Best Oral Presentation at Cedars Sinai Graduate Research Symposium that took place in October 2016. The event called graduate students from all over California to come together and share their research through poster and oral presentations. In preparation for her presentation, Roisin gathered feedback from her lab and attended a “Podium Pointers” session with OETIS staff. She noted that she used suggestions from “Podium Pointers” both to reconfigure her talk so that the audience could easily follow her story and to update her slide layout to highlight key findings. Monica Gonzalez (Salvesen Lab) also attended the event and felt it was a good opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone.

Clyde Campbell's (Dong Lab) Image of two zebrafish embryos surrounding a zebrafish eye expressing GFP took First Place in the 2017 Aquaneering Art of Science Photography contest

GSBS 5th year student Gianluigi Lichinchi (Rana Lab) was selected to give one of five short talks at the 11th Annual Salk Institute Symposium on Biological Complexity co-hosted by Fondation IPSEN and AAAS/Science held on January 25-27, 2017. This year’s symposium focused on the broadening role of RNA in cell biology and featured HHMI fellow Professor Joan Steitz (Yale University) as the keynote speaker. Two Nobel Laureates, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK) and Phillip Sharp (MIT), also delivered presentations on translation termination and applications of RNA in therapeutics, respectively. Gianluigi’s talk, “Dynamics of RNA Methylation during HIV-1 and ZIKA Virus Infections” was part of the session on RNA Modification, chaired by Dr. Feng Zhang (Broad Institute, MIT), who pioneered the use of CRISPR and optogenetics to study mechanisms of neurological diseases. Gianluigi welcomed the opportunity to present his research before a broad audience and to network with high-profile scientists in RNA biology.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR RECENT GRADUATES! MATTHEW TIERNEY, PhD Dissertation Title: “Regulatory mechanisms controlling muscle stem cell behavior during skeletal repair” Mentor: Dr. Alessandra Sacco Matt grew up near Buffalo, New York and did his undergraduate work in chemical engineering at the University of Rochester. Based on his interest in sports, he pursued a Master’s degree in exercise physiology at University of Texas at Austin, where he studied the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Matt joined Dr. Alessandra Sacco’s lab at SBP as a research technician and then enrolled in the GSBS to pursue research on how muscle stem cell behavior is regulated during skeletal muscle repair. During his thesis work, Matt had several first-author manuscripts and earned a NIH NRSA predoctoral fellowship. Following his defense, Matt returned to the East Coast for his postdoctoral work with Dr. Elaine Fuchs' group at Rockefeller University. Matt plans to become an academic research scientist and continue studies of how the local environment controls muscle stem cell activity.

ALESSANDRA DALL’AGNESE, PhD Dissertation Title: “MYOD-directed changes in nuclear architecture during myogenic conversion of somatic cells” Mentor: Dr. Lorenzo Puri By the time she enrolled at the GSBS at SBP, Ale had already gathered extensive experience in research. She developed her long-standing interest in biology at the University of Udine, where she majored in biotechnology. Ale also undertook a summer research internship studying limb regeneration in salamanders at the University of California Irvine. After this internship, she began mapping places in the United States where she might like to return for a PhD. After enrolling in the SBP GSBS as a graduate student in Dr. Lorenzo Puri’s lab, Ale used challenging techniques, including Hi-C, to examine MyoD-mediated gene transcription at a three-dimensional level. Ale is looking forward to joining Dr. Richard Young’s laboratory at the Whitehead Institute at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow, another stop towards her ultimate goal of being an academic research scientist.

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Brain Injury”

Mentor: Dr. Marcus Kaul Victoria’s research in Dr. Marcus Kaul’s lab centered on the neuroprotective effects of cytokine interferon-beta (IFN-β) and its potential for treating HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Victoria immigrated to the United States from Moldova before she was a teenager, and graduated with a bachelor’s in biology from San Diego State University. After she graduated, she worked with the Burton group at The Scripps Research Institute to characterize antibodies that neutralize HIV. Victoria was a very active member of the GSBS community and was also an intern in the iAspire program at Illumina. Victoria recently began as a Field Applications Specialist for Thermo Fisher, a position that will allow her to develop her interest in high-throughput technologies for drug discovery.

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Meet former SBP postdoc, Leah Cannon, PhD: Utilizing her writing skills to provide scientific and career content for The Life Science Network By Nisha Cavanaugh, PhD (Manager, Postdoctoral & Academic Programs) Leah Cannon, PhD, was a postdoc in Professor Rolf Bodmer’s lab, where she investigated the genetic and molecular changes in cardiac aging. In January 2016, she transitioned away from the bench to become a freelance writer. Leah is currently Content and Community Manager for the Life Science Network, L L C (LSN), where she develops and provides scientific content to enhance the members’ experience and expand LSN’s web presence.

What is the Life Science Network (LSN)? The Life Science Network (LSN) is a community of life science professionals that provides opportunities to network, share ideas and connect with others. LSN includes an open platform featuring library files, blog posts, and much more! Leah describes it as the “connective tissue of life science professionals.”

How did Leah come across this opportunity? Throughout her graduate and postdoctoral training, she volunteered for the student organization Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable to enhance her oral and written communication skills. She also did a lot of networking to meet people working in the industry. Serendipitously, she once tweeted to advertise an upcoming LSN networking event that she was attending. LSN Founder, Erik Clausen, who is now her boss, noticed and reached out to her. Based on this experience, Leah advises students and postdocs that “you never know when you’ll make an impression.”

What was Leah’s greatest challenge transitioning away from the bench? As a freelance writer, Leah enjoys composing articles, but she has also learned to negotiate with companies and organizations on the terms of her writing projects. She has created (or sought advice on how to develop) numerous documents including onboarding processes, non-disclosure agreements, and contracts. She also realized the benefits and drawbacks of freelance writing, including a flexible schedule but lack of benefits and holidays.

What advice would Leah share with aspiring science writers? Leah mentors other writers who wish to develop their science communication skills through blog posts, infographics, and social media. She will work with them to create an infographic or article for LSN’s platform. Additionally, she suggests that students and postdocs take on volunteer opportunities and offer their time so they can create website and/ or social media content that can be used to develop an online portfolio. “This will help you stand out from other applicants when you apply for jobs.” If you have any questions about science communication or would like help getting started, contact Leah at

Want to learn more about Leah and LSN? Visit LSN’s website and consider attending LSN’s next UNWIND event!

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OETIS Hoops! By Diane Klotz, PhD (Director, OETIS)

Many of you have now seen the OETIS team hula hooping its way around the open spaces of the SBP campus, so we wanted to share what we’re doing with you. OETIS team members are committed to contributing to the 5Cs in every way we can, and we believe one of the best ways to do this is to maintain a positive and fun environment within our own team. We’re only human, though, and some days we have frustrations and challenges just like everyone else. So, we’ve started the OETIS Hoops initiative to help us remember that we get to choose our own attitudes towards situations, and that one of the best ways to take our minds off an immediate stressor is to focus our thoughts and energy on something else. For anyone who has ever tried to hula hoop, you know that it is nearly impossible to keep that hoop going while focusing on anything other than the hoop! Thus, OETIS Hoops was born. Below is our list of Hoop Rules, and we welcome you to join us anytime.

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

Education & Training

Nisha A Cavanaugh, PhD Manager, Postdoctoral & Academic Programs

Sharon Schendel, PhD Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Training Specialist

Mary B Bradley, MLA Manager, Graduate School

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

Have you heard about OETIS’ monthly services and the new seminar series? PODIUM POINTERS - Every 2nd Monday of the month or upon request; Trainees have a chance to practice presenting their research and receive constructive feedback that can enhance their presentation skills. AGRAPHIA WRITING GROUP - Every 3rd Tuesday of the month; Next event on Feb. 21. Members have the opportunity to set achievable writing goals, increase your writing output, and gain insight into writing-related topics. CAREERS & COFFEE - Date varies, check OETIS Calendar; Next event on Feb. 7 (Patent Agents). A different career path is featured every month for you to explore and learn about through SBP Alumni in each field. Speakers discuss their career trajectory and any questions you may have. CV/RESUME REVIEW SESSION - Last week of each month; Next event on Feb. 22. Get feedback on content, format/structure, and/or general editing. No appointment necessary, just walk in! RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH ORIENTATION & REFRESHER - 2nd Thursday of every other month; Next event on Feb. 9. These sessions educate researchers about SBP standards and expectations for proper scientific conduct to ensure that science is practiced uniformly throughout our laboratories with the highest integrity. TRAINEE SEMINAR SERIES *NEW* - Every 2nd Wednesday of each month; Next event on Feb. 8; A spotlight on SBP trainees and their research accomplishments selected for Paper of the Week, followed by Happy Hour!

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Registration Links: Module 2: | Module 1.5: | Module 3: | Module 4: | Module 5 link will be made at a later time

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contributions from SBP Postdocs and Graduate Students! If you would like to submit an article to our next issue,


contact Alexia at In the Next Issue. . . • SBP Faculty Profile • Helping out at STEM Expo • Prospective Students Visit for

GSBS Interview Day • More OETIS workshops!

GSBS students and program staff at the Annual Student Holiday Luncheon - December 2016

Follow OETIS on LinkedIn (https:// Contact for any questions or concerns.

Upcoming Events (not listed in previous pages)

Academic Laboratory Lab Management and Leadership Symposium (ALMLS) Thursday, February 23, 8:30 am - Friday, February 24, 1:00 pm @ SCRM Speakers: PIs and Workshop Presenters from Various Institutions

Register here:

Graduate Career Consortium’s Virtual Career Fair Thursday, March 2; more information to come.

RCR Special Topic Presentation on Research Misconduct Thursday, March 9, 10:30 - 11:30 am in Fishman Auditorium Speaker: Professor Michael Kalichman, Research Ethics Program, UCSD Registration Link to come; Watch out for March Events Blast For a full calendar and more information about upcoming events, visit: http://intranet/academicsupport/otas/workshops/Pages/default.aspx

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