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Vanderbilt-Meharry Annual Pharmacology Retreat








Each Fall, the department hosts a retreat giving students & postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to present their future research plans in a 10-minute presentation.  The retreat is an important component of the Pharmacology Department and the Ph.D. program.  It has been a joint Vanderbilt-Meharry venture for almost 20 years and is a successful continuation of our efforts to foster the alliance that has developed over the years between the two institutions.

Since 2006 our graduate students have organized practically every aspect of the retreat such as identifying and inviting the keynote speaker (usually an alum of our pharmacology program), organizing competitions for “Best Talk” awards, and developing thematic programs.

First-year student presentations are developed to explain a research problem, its importance, and what has been learned to date.  The students are reminded that the majority of the presentation is to explain what they want to accomplish or learn in the coming year and what strategies they will employ.  This emphasis on the future tense encourages substantial input, discussion, and critical consideration of the student’s project.  Furthermore, by learning the methodologies being established in different laboratories, students can readily learn from one another.  Often collaborations emerge at the retreat and this scientific exchange has fostered enhanced productivity of students and mentors alike.

2023 Pharmacology Retreat



OCTOBER 13TH, 2023



8:00 AM Arrival and Breakfast

9:00 AM Welcome & DEI Committee Updates

9:20 AM First-year Student Talks (#1-4)

10:20 AM Break

10:30 AM First-year Student Talks (#5-8)

11:30 AM Lunch

12:30 PM Department Keynote Speaker: Colleen Niswender, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University
Senior Director of Molecular Pharmacology, Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug           Discovery WCNDD Drug Discovery Case Study: The Development of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 4 Positive Allosteric Modulators for Parkinson’s Disease

1:30 PM Poster Session 1

2:15 PM Poster Session 2

3:00 PM Alumnus Keynote Speaker: Laurent Audoly, Ph.D.
Co-founder/CEO, Ruptakine Inc.
Executive Partner, Apollo Health Ventures
More than Numbers: An Updated Model to Tackle Efficiency and Impact in Biopharma

4:00 PM Presentation of Awards

4:30 PM Social Hour @ Nada (202 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203)