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MSTP Annual Retreat

URMC Professor, Director of the Center for Neurotherapeutics Discovery alum headlines MSTP 17th annual Retreat

By Hayley Martin, M2/G3

August 11, 2017 marked the Medical Scientist Training Program’s 17th Annual Retreat. The retreat was held at the Rochester Yacht Club, overlooking Lake Ontario and the Genesee River.

The Annual Retreat is an opportunity for the entire program to touch base and welcome incoming students. This year, the MSTP welcomed 8 new students: John Bennett (Hamilton College), Ian DeAndrea-Lazarus (Gallaudet University, entering after 2 years of medical school and a research year out at URSMD), Alan Finkelstein (CUNY Queens College), Mark (Howard) Kenney (UR), Emily Przysinda (Skidmore College), Noah Salama (Washington and Jefferson College), Mike Sportiello (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), and Sam Weisenthal (Hamilton College, entering after 2 years of medical school and a research year out at URSMD).

2017 MSTP Incoming Students
New Students

The morning session began when Dr. Harris “Handy” Gelbard, Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, Neuroscience and Microbiology & Immunology, and Director of the Center for Neurotherapeutics Discovery at the University of Rochester Medical Center, delivered an engaging keynote on his lab’s work drug development for the treatment of neurological complications of HIV. Dr. Gelbard shared insights and advice for future physician-scientists as he shared the twists and turns of his scientific career in his talk titled “Found in translation, the strange, but true story of how URMC-099 came to be”. Following the keynote, the morning science session concluded with several short-format research talks by Noah Salama (M1), Mike Sportiello (M1), Catherine Pizzarello (M2), Sam Weisenthal (G1, TBS), Udaysankar Chockanathan (G2, BCS), Andrew Smith (G3, IMV), and Nicolas Goldstein (G6, HSR), and Sam Carrell & Alison Gaylo (M4s). Rohith Palli (G2, BSCB) concluded the student talk session with a brief talk titled “The Campaign for New York Health” in which he encouraged his classmates to get involved in healthcare policy reform.

After lunch, the program convened for a business meeting. Attendees of the Keystone MD/PhD Student Conference and the Class Council representative for American Physician Scientist Association (ASPA) reported on their trips to annual meetings and upcoming events. New Student Council members were elected at the end of the afternoon.

After closing the meeting, MD/PhD students met for conversation and drinks overlooking the water. Another successful year for the program!

2017 MSTP Retreat Group Photo