Skip to main content
Explore URMC

SMD Logo


Latest News

URBEST Internship Myths?

News Article by Tracey Baas, PhD, URBEST Executive Director

I was fortunate to be invited to an External Advisory Committee (EAC) Meeting for a T32 Training Grant. It was a great learning experience. Another added benefit for me was that the EAC got to chat with past and present T32 trainees and heard three“myths” that were being shared about URBEST Internships. I’d like to address those three here so that people can make more confident choices about participating or not participating in an internship experience. Read Full Article >>

Emma ArticleURBEST Trainees Become AMWA Members

News Article by Tracey Baas, PhD, URBEST Executive Director

For the April URBEST Career Story, our speaker was Elizabeth Schiavoni, founder of Life Sciences Writing Solutions LLC. Trainees were invited to participate in an essay-writing contest, where three essayists would be awarded an American Medical Writer Association (AMWA) Membership. The rules were straightforward, yet not easy. Who would Elizabeth select as the essay winners? Read Full Article >>

Video ImageBudding UR Scientists and Science Communicators

News Article by Tracey Baas, PhD, URBEST Executive Director

Emily Boynton and Molly Miles from URMC’s Department of Public Relations and Communications met with a small group of URBEST trainees to discuss how the Medical Center and other academic institutions are sharing science in the social world we live in. They provided some examples of different types of visuals and videos that get great engagement on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The goal?  URBEST and The Public Relations and Communications team wanted to find and offer prizes for three original visuals or videos from students and trainees that highlight UR innovation and research. Money, video packs and fame! Read Full Article >>

Omar imageDream Crushing Leads to Better Ideas

News Article by Omar Bakht, PhD, Director of UR Ventures and Founder of New York Medical Angels

They call me a “Dream Crusher” and I take a mild offense to it.  As the Director of New Ventures at the University of Rochester and the founder of New York Medical Angels, it’s my job to listen to people’s business ideas.  In my career, I’ve heard many business ideas and most of them not well thought out. Sometimes, I have to tell people that their idea is not worth moving forward and no one really likes to hear that, so I guess that explains the “crushing” label. Read Full Article >>

NIH Shark Tank: Swimming with PhilanthropistsNIH Shark Tank: Swimming with Philanthropists

News Article by Tracey Baas, PhD, URBEST Executive Director

For the 2016 Annual NIH BEST meeting with all 17 awardee institutes converging in Bethesda, we were issued a challenge.

“You have been called by the leaders of NIH, NSF and BWF. They are currently in a meeting and want you to join them on a teleconference immediately and give a 5 minute or less pitch about your most creative strategy for sustainability.  What will you say?” Read Full Article >>

How To Pick An Advisor How To Pick An Advisor

News Article By Ryan Connor, PhD Candidate

The force is strong with this one – Darth Vader

So, you decided to go to graduate school, and now you need to decide on an advisor. Or, perhaps, you recently chose a mentor and are now wondering if you made a good (or a bad) choice. Fear not, I shall highlight what a number of professors and others have written with regards to how to pick a good thesis advisor. Read Full Article >>

Madeline SofiaUR Science Communicator Goes Public

News Article By Madeline (Maddie) Sofia, PhD, Assistant Producer at National Public Radio

During graduate school I fell in love with science communication and outreach. I firmly believe the ability of the scientific community to effectively and accurately communicate with the public, lawmakers, and media will shape the future of our global community. As scientists, we have a responsibility to the American taxpayers to keep them informed and engaged in our pursuits. Scientists who regularly engage with the public become better communicators, have access to alternative funding sources, and inspire the next generation of scientists. I felt called to help scientists become comfortable in front of different audiences, so that they could get other people interested and excited about their work. Read Full Article >>

Charmaine Wheatley Begins Artist-in-Residency ProgramCharmaine Wheatley Begins Artist-in-Residency Program

News Article by Rachel Walker, PhD Graduate Student

As 2017 begins, many of you have noticed some changes – including that one of the Microbiology conference rooms is being converted into an art studio to be used by our new artist-in-residence Charmaine Wheatley.  Wheatley will be focusing on two areas during her residency with the University of Rochester, reducing the social stigmas around mental illness and HIV. Read Full Article >>

Five Ways to Locally Engage in Science CommunicationFive Ways to Locally Engage in Science Communication

News Article by Liz Albertorio, MS and Volunteer Coordinator for the Rochester Museum and Science Center

“What is science communication?” or “where would I even start getting involved in science communication?” are probably questions you may have asked as you progress in exploring career interests. Today, more than ever, we as scientists, need to continually be engaged with our communities to foster trust and an understanding of the impact that science and technology has in our lives. Read Full Article >>

Supporting Graduate StudentsSupporting Graduate Students

News Article by Emily Weber, PhD graduate student

Graduate school is stressful. Whether it is executing experiments, attempting to analyze data, or preparing for that big presentation, the life of a graduate student can be filled with a never-ending to-do list. On top of that, students have many responsibilities outside of the lab to handle. The Microbiology and Immunology department has created and funded a program named Supporting Our Students (SOS) aimed to help provide their graduate students with opportunities to de-stress and gain life skills to help them in and outside of graduate school. Read Full Article >>

Writing for Scientific AmericanWriting for Scientific American

News Article By Karl J. P. Smith, PhD Candidate

I spent last summer working on the 46th floor of the last building before the water on the southern tip of Manhattan. That’s the location of Scientific American’s offices, and I was there because I had received an American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship. I spent ten weeks away from lab as a science journalist in New York City, and I loved it. Read Full Article >>

cholesterol science imageLunch with NIH Director Dr. Collins

News Article by Sarah Latchney, PhD, and Solomon Abiola, PhD graduate student and MS

As part of his visit during UR’s Meliora Weekend, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins requested to meet with students and post docs for lunch. Seventy-seven trainees applied and fifteen were selected. Attendees Dr. Sarah Latchney and Solomon Abiola share their insights. Read Full Article >>


cholesterol science imageNext Step: Post Doc

News Article by Letitia Jones, PhD 

A postdoctoral position is not always the obvious next step. In this Q&A, Letitia Jones shares her thoughts on academia vs. industry and making the transition after graduate school and provides some tips for achieving success...whatever that might look like to you. Read Full Article >>


cholesterol science imageWhat I’ve Learned in My First Two Years as URBEST Executive Director

News Article by Tracey Baas, PhD, Executive Director of URBEST

Many people are surprised when I tell them that I’ve only been at UR and with URBEST for two years and my “unofficial” anniversary is Halloween. My initiation into the NIH BEST program occurred in Bethesda at the first annual NIH BEST meeting, October 29-31, 2014. In fact, my first interaction with URBEST co-PI Sarah Peyre, Assistant Dean of Interprofessional Education, was on a plane flying to the meeting. Even though I’ve only been here two years at UR, I’ve learned a lot. I believe that what I’ve learned will not only benefit me, but can also benefit you. Many of these points were reinforced by experiences with organizing the recent URBEST Retreat and Career Workshop. (Next year’s URBEST Retreat is Thursday Sept 14, 2017 if you’d like to mark your calendar.) Read Full Article >>


cholesterol science imageA Scientific Collaboration in Teaching

News Article by Zachary Murphy, PhD Candidate and "Roving Educator" 

While there are many opportunities for internships in several career fields, the ugly truth remains that an internship for teaching is not a clearly defined entity. Therefore, upon the advice of a colleague, I sought out my own opportunity through the Active Teaching and Learning (MALT) program. Zachary Murphy explains how. Read Full Article >>


cholesterol science imageThe Path of a Scientific Illustrator: An Interview with Ella Marushchenko

News Article By Rachel Walker, PhD Graduate Student 

Imagine that after spending months developing a great story with your research, you really want your work to stand out. So you decide to include an illustration. But without knowing whom to ask, how do you obtain an illustration like this? Who can you approach? Rachel Walker finds out with scientific illustrator Ella Marushchenko. Read Full Article >>



Tabak Basketball ShotDr. Lawrence Tabak Takes a Shot with UR Biomedical Trainees

News Article By Claire McCarthy, PhD candidate, and Julianne Feola, PhD candidate

As part of his visit to the University of Rochester on April 15th, 2016, Dr. Lawrence Tabak’s only request was that he would get to meet with students and post-docs to have a discussion about the ethical issues surrounding biomedical research. As the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he particularly enjoys hearing the perspective of trainees in the field. He was granted his wish with an hour-long Q&A session prior to his talk, “The Reproducibility of Biomedical Research.”  His Q&A session and talk were both well attended by scientists at all stages. According to Dr. Tabak, current issues of biomedical research have been garnering widespread interest among the scientific community as well as the general population. Read Full Article >>


Project Management Institute LogoRelating the Language of Management to Graduate School

News Article By Liz Albertorio, MS candidate and Rochester Museum and Science Center Volunteer Manager

Many URBEST graduate students are interested in pursuing a career in industry. URBEST trainee Chris Farrar, is one of them. As he explored his options, Chris noticed that one of his major skill gaps fell within the realm of project management. When the chance to apply to the URBEST/CPD sponsored Project Management Institute fellowship arose, Chris decided to apply – and was selected. I recently had a chance to discuss with him his experience in the course and which management concepts are applicable to the graduate school experience. Read Full Article >>


URBEST LogoWhat is the URBEST Program and Why Should I Join?

News Article By Tracey Baas, URBEST Executive Director

When people ask me to tell them a little bit about the URBEST program, it’s difficult to know where to start. The first attempt is breaking down the acronym: University of Rochester’s Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training. To tell you the truth, I don’t think very many people remember what the acronym stands for, but they do manage to take away the golden nugget. With the help of the National Institute of Health, the program exists to try to train the BEST scientists possible. Read Full Article >>


AslihanPetenkayaDiving into Data Science

News Article By Emily Weber, PhD Graduate Student 

Data Science is quickly emerging as a new field that many scientists at the University of Rochester are working in and exploring. Dr. Aslihan Petenkaya, a postdoctoral fellow in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Department, is a current fellow for the seven-week intensive post-doctoral Insight Data Science Fellows Program. She found herself interested in data science towards the end of her PhD in Hucky Land’s laboratory, where she started studying if different metabolic characteristics of cancer cells could predict how they responded to certain enzymatic inhibitors. “Predicting if a cancer cells falls into a certain class requires application of supervised learning algorithms,” said Dr. Petenkaya. “I started studying different algorithms and learned more about how data science shapes and directs our lives in very visible ways and how widely applicable the tools used in data science are.” Read Full Article >>


FDA imageAt the FDA Lab Bench with Postdoctoral Fellow Supriya Ravichandran

News Article By Samreen Jatana, PhD

Q&A session with Samreen Jatana and Supriya Ravichandran, current and past UR student in Dr. DeLouise's laboratory. They discuss life at the FDA and how the experience may help to pave the way to a career in industry. Read Full Article >>


Foosball tableFact or Fiction - The "Medical" Student Lounge

News Article By Claire E. McCarthy, PhD Candidate

During my five years as a PhD student, I have often passed by the “medical” student lounge on my way to classes and seminars. Despite gazing at the large television, comfy-looking couches, and a fun foosball table in the room from the hallway, I never tried to swipe into the lounge. I thought the space was only for medical students. When I asked other Toxicology graduate students for their thoughts on the availability of the lounge, I got varied responses. Shannon Lacy, a second year student, said, “There’s a big sign on the door that says Med students only, so I don’t think graduate students have access.” Yet, Amanda Croasdell, a sixth year student, stated that the lounge is not exclusively for medical students. A first year student, Katrina Jew said that other people told her that the lounge is open to graduate students, “but I don’t know if it really is because the rules of who can or can’t use the room aren’t easily found.”

Based on all of the rumors and confusion about the “medical” student lounge, I decided to disentangle the truth from the rumors by talking to Linda Lipani, the Registrar in the Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. Read Full Article >>


Dream Job ImageAbandoning the Search for the "Perfect" Career

News Article By Julianne Feola, PhD Candidate

In doing some recent “career soul-searching”, I stumbled upon a document that I wrote in my second year of graduate school as part of a pre-doctoral fellowship application to the NIH.  Here, you can find a confident proclamation of my desire to continue on the academic route, first acquiring a postdoctoral fellowship and eventually rising to faculty member at an esteemed university.  While I don’t doubt that this option sounded attractive to me- aspects of scientific research will always excite me- I can say with certainty that my confidence in this decision was not there, and these goals changed almost as quickly as I had written them. Read Full Article >>


Mentor Sarah and Mentee SanjayURBEST Mentoring for Faculty: Past and Future Workshops

News Article By Tracey Baas, URBEST Executive Director

On January 28, 2016, nineteen UR faculty members gathered at 8:30 am in the Center of Experiential Learning to participate in a URBEST Mentoring Workshop and share breakfast.  Departments in attendance were Microbiology and Immunology, Orthopedics, Neuroscience, Environmental Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Physiology, and the Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Although URBEST is known for its mission to Broaden Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST), which is mandated and funded by NIH, the focus of the Mentoring Workshop was not research or career development. The goal was to foster effective mentor-mentee communication practices that would better support trainee autonomy here at UR. Faculty at all levels - novice to experienced, tenure track and non-tenure track - were invited to fine-tune their mentoring skills in a supportive environment with their colleagues. Read Full Article >>