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During its fourth year, ReMIND continued to promote scientific discussion and collegiality among UCI’s scientific community.
Each quarter ReMIND hosted a journal club open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Papers presented covered topics including, but not limited to, microRNAs in neurodegeneration and the role of the hypothalamus in systemic aging. Because the role of discussion leader rotates, the topics are generally interdisciplinary in nature. These discussions are unique in that they are wholly student-led.
ReMIND contributed to the organization and hosting of career panels sponsored by the School of Biological Sciences and the DECADE Program. The first panel’s topic was “Teaching as a Professional Goal or Career Component.” The speakers were Dr. Diane O’Dowd , Professor, UC Irvine; Dr. Joyce Lacy, Assistant Professor, Azusa Pacific University; Dr. Pavan Kadandale, PSOE Lecturer, UC Irvine; Dr. Brian Sato, PSOE Lecturer, UC Irvine; and Dr. Gregory Russell, Assistant Professor, Orange Coast College. An additional career panel, “Non-Academic Career Options in Biological and Biomedical Sciences,” and included Dr. Dan Gil, Vice President of Bioscience at Allergan, Inc.; Dr. Randal Berg, Assistant Director of Research Development from UCI’s Office of Research; Dr. Jason Gersting, Associate, Knobbe Martens Intellectual Property Law, and Dr. H. Lee Jones, Senior Biologist and Director of Development at Bloom Biological, Inc. These events provided attendees with insight into the variety of career paths open to PhDs.
ReMIND’s signature event, the annual Emerging Scientists Symposium on Neurological Disorders, was held on February 21, 2013. The event was a resounding success, drawing over 100 researchers from the UCI community. The 19 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows showcased the breadth of cutting-edge neuroscience research being conducted at UCI. This year’s event had a notable emphasis on improving function and recovery in models of Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis. In line with this focus, Dr. Clive Svendsen, Director of the Cedars Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, gave the event’s keynote address. In his talk, Dr. Svendsen discussed his efforts to develop stem cell technology to treat neurological disorders, including Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease. This year’s best graduate student presentation award went to Annie Vogel-Ciernia for her discussion of epigenetic mechanisms of long-term memory formation. Dr. Nicholas Patrizio won the best postdoctoral presentation for his discussion of how endocannabinoid signaling in the guy mediates dietary fat preference.