Alumni Profile: M. Indriati Hood-Pishchany, M.D. Ph.D.

Posted in Alumni Profiles

Dr. Indriati Hood-Pishchany graduated from the Vanderbilt MSTP in 2014 and went on to complete residency training in Pediatrics in the Boston Combined Residency Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. She participated in the Accelerated Research Pathway, completing residency in 2016. She is currently a first year Infectious Diseases Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her graduate research focused on mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and pathogenesis of Acinetobacter baumannii and she completed her research in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Skaar. She is a fellow in the Pediatric Scientist Development Program, and her fellowship research will investigate the role for female reproductive tract microbiota in pregnancy outcomes.

Op-Ed: The Power of Science Communication

Ben Fensterheim (G3)
December 19, 2016
Posted in Science Advocacy

For news journalists, failure to communicate effectively is a failure of the news. So, the same is true about the journalists of the natural world: scientists. However, scientific communication is rarely taught during Ph.D. training. Students may learn to communicate in a niche scientific field, but if they are unable to communicate effectively to broader audiences their work will suffer. Alas, like many aspects of Ph.D. training, learning effective science communication is largely left up to the students themselves.

Second Year MSTP Student Brad Reinfeld Joins Tumor Immunology Band - The CheckPoints

To remain engaged in science while completing my first year of medical school, I began to follow journals, prominent scientists, and science organizations on Twitter. Through Twitter, I was able to complement my lectures about autoimmune disease like Ankylosing Spondylitis  with the latest trials published using monoclonal antibodies against IL17a antibodies. When I changed my Twitter from following sports teams to science, I never predicted that it would allow me to have a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Alumni Profile: Erik Musiek, M.D., Ph.D.

Posted in Alumni Profiles

Dr. Musiek entered the Vanderbilt MSTP in 2000 and completed his thesis work in the lab of the late Dr. Jason Morrow, with Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin in Neurology as a co-mentor.  He worked on mechanisms linking oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Science Policy and Advocacy – A Trip to Capitol Hill

In October, I attended a two-day workshop on federal STEM policy and advocacy in Washington, D.C., an incredibly eye-opening experience organized annually by Vanderbilt University’s Office of Federal Relations. My motivation to apply for this workshop was fueled primarily by my (for lack of a better word) ignorance of how science policy is influenced through advocacy by various stakeholders and how it’s ultimately created and implemented at the federal level.

Restructuring of the MSTP Student Advisory Committee (SAC)

Ben Fensterheim (G3) and Alex Sundermann (G2)
November 29, 2016
Posted in Workshop News

This month marked the first Vanderbilt MSTP Student Advisory Committee (SAC) in its new structure. Previously, SAC meetings functioned much like a lab meeting where the MSTP director solicited reports and initiated committees for new areas of work. While this format gave way to many great MSTP groups and activities, it was steered largely by the leadership team as opposed to the students. The SAC reboot is motivated by the desire to increase student-input concerning ways the MSTP can maximize training opportunities and address student needs. Now, with MSTP leadership team support, the SAC will be a student-run board for the MSTP whose mission is to resolve student-raised concerns, address questions important to our training, and continue to facilitate excellent programming.