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April 2016

Diving into Data Science

Diving into Data Science

News Article By Emily Weber

            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.”

            Dr. Petenkaya learned about the Insight Data Science Fellow Program from a friend and filled out the online application. The Insight Data Program strives to train PhDs from academia in data science technology and partners with such companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, NBC and Spotify

At the FDA Lab Bench with Postdoctoral Fellow Supriya Ravichandran

At the FDA Lab Bench with Postdoctoral Fellow Supriya Ravichandran

News Story By Samreen Jatana

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. 

Fact or Fiction – The “Medical” Student Lounge

Fact or Fiction – The “Medical” Student Lounge

News Article by Claire E. McCarthy

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. 

Abandoning the Search for the “Perfect” Career

Abandoning the Search for the “Perfect” Career

News Article By Julianne Feola

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.

URBEST Mentoring for Faculty: Past and Future Workshops

URBEST Mentoring for Faculty: Past and Future Workshops

News Article By Tracey Baas

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.

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