17th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium highlights

| Written by Susan Gammon
SBP Postdoc Symposium

The next generation of scientific leaders gathered to attend the 17th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium—an event that highlights the talent of SBP’s young scientists. 

“Every year, the Annual Postdoctoral Symposium provides an opportunity for postdoctoral and graduate student scientists to showcase their most recent research,” says Stephen Sakuma, SBP-SN co-chair. “We are fortunate that SBP supports this event. It is great to learn more about the research conducted by my colleagues and opens up collaborative opportunities within the Institute.”

Unlike most symposiums that are specific to a field or topic of science, short talks and posters from more than 50 presenters represent the variety of science that takes place at our Institute—everything from heart disease to hair growth. 

“One of the things I love about research at SBP is the range of scientific areas we study,” says Katja Birker, a graduate student who received an honorable mention for her podium talk. “I’m inspired by the work of my colleagues, and I hope my research similarly sparks ideas for others to think about.”

Prizes for best podium talks and posters were awarded. Congratulations to Michael Stec, Ph.D., for best oral presentation; and Joana Borlido, Ph.D., for best poster presentation. Stec studies skeletal muscle regeneration in the lab of Alessandra Sacco, Ph.D.; and Borlido studies the molecular basis of leukemia in the lab of Maximiliano D’Angelo, Ph.D.

Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., professor, vice chancellor for Science Policy & Strategy, and director of Precision Medicine at UCSF, gave a keynote presentation reflecting on the importance of having a good mentor as an early-career scientist. Yamamoto has been a longtime mentor to Malene Hansen, Ph.D., associate dean of Student Affairs at SBP’s graduate school, and faculty adviser of Postdoctoral Training—who herself is guiding the keen minds of our Institute’s next-generation scientists.

“Getting an invitation to speak from students is much more significant than getting an invitation from faculty,” said Yamamoto. “I’m going to try to talk about my role as a mentor. I have benefited from that—being mentored is a lifetime experience and a lifelong need.

“Part of being a mentor is providing information of what you can do with a Ph.D. and beyond,” Yamamoto continued. “It’s a community-wide and science-wide challenge for mentors.”

Many congratulations to all who participated in the 2018 symposium!

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