Newsletter

Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, MD gives Vanderbilt Flexner Discovery lecture

Daniel Kashima (G4)
May 18, 2017

In its attempts to understand learning and memory, modern neuroscience research uses a variety of techniques. New tools such as optogenetics, chemogenetics, CLARITY, TRIO, etc., give unprecedented insight into the circuits, cell types, and physiologic changes governing behavior. Implicit in this work is the idea that alterations in the strength of connections between neurons underlie learning and memory. This idea was developed in part by Dr. Eric Kandel through his work with the sea slug, Aplysia, which won him the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I was fortunate to hear Dr. Kandel speak three times over the course of a month: at lecture during the APSA/AAP/ASCI conference in Chicago, the Flexner Discovery Lecture at Vanderbilt, and at a brunch gathering.

Op-Ed: A March for Truth, Reason, and Hope

Eileen Shiuan (G2)
May 8, 2017
Posted in Science Advocacy

“SCIENCE NOT SILENCE” “Let us pause for a moment in science” – Some powerful, some quirky, and some punny slogans like these popped up and filled the streets in more than 600 cities around the world on April 22nd.  Scientists and supporters of science stood united on this day, Earth Day, to defend the critical role of science in shaping policy and society. Among the thousands who braved the torrential rains and thunderstorms to march in Nashville were Vanderbilt MSTP and graduate students, as well as faculty.

Call for Applications for SAC Chair-Elect!

Ben Fensterheim (G3) and Alex Sundermann (G2)
April 27, 2017

Call for Applications for SAC Chair-Elect  Over the past year, the MSTP SAC underwent several changes for it to better provide a platform for discussing student-generated initiatives, addressing student questions and concerns, and facilitating excellent programming. This reorganization included the creation of two new positions: the SAC Chair and Chair-Elect. These students create agenda items for the SAC meetings, facilitate SAC discussions, and bring student questions that arise to MSTP leadership.  

Vanderbilt MSTP Demos New Internal Review Mechanism to Benefit Students Applying for Individual Fellowship Grants

By Matthew Stier (G4)
April 25, 2017
Posted in Workshop News

On Wednesday March 15th, a group of eight senior MSTP students and faculty convened for the first internal Vanderbilt MSTP Individual Fellowship Mock Study Section. The goals were twofold. First, we aimed to give actionable feedback on central fellowship documents including the scientific approach and training plan to MSTP students applying for F30 or other fellowship grants in the spring. Second, we sought to provide a training opportunity for senior MSTP students to learn side-by-side from experienced faculty members and their peers about how grants are reviewed at study section.

The Three Minute Thesis®: Students present their Ph.D. work in the same length of time it takes to read this article

By Krystian Kozek (G3) and MariaSanta Mangione (G3)
April 25, 2017

On March 31, 2017, five Vanderbilt MSTP graduate-phase students participated in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Melissa Bloodworth (G4), Daniel Kashima (G4), Shan Parikh (G4), Krystian Kozek (G3), and MariaSanta Mangione (G3) all elected to condense years of Ph.D. work into less than 180 seconds of oral presentation with one static slide to a non-specialist audience. Their work was judged on the criteria of (1) comprehension, (2) engagement, and (3) communication style against 50 other competitors across many Ph.D. disciplines.

Festivals in Nashville

Brad Reinfeld (M2)
April 5, 2017

There is a lot more to Nashville than just country music and cowboy hats. Here is just a selection of monthly activities that showcase Nashville’s vibrant food, music, and culture.

Thoughts on the Vanderbilt MSTP Curriculum

April 5, 2017

You can refresh your memory on the Vanderbilt MSTP curriculum here. Below are some comments from current students about the advantages of Curriculum 2.0 for Vanderbilt MSTP students. Bring any questions you may have with you to Second Look.

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