Stem cell investigator, UT students to present at Graduate Research Forum this week

March 16, 2016 | Events, Research, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
By Samantha Watson

The University of Toledo’s Council of Biomedical Graduate Students will hold its Graduate Research Forum Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18.

Dr. Weian Zhao, assistant professor in the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California in Irvine, will be the keynote speaker Friday, March 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 110 on Health Science Campus.



Zhao is doing work encompassing bioengineering, biology and pharmacology to improve diagnostic and monitoring techniques in such fields as cancer and cardiovascular processes. He is the founder of Velox Biosystems, a startup company that aims to develop rapid and sensitive diagnostic technologies.

“Dr. Zhao’s work appeals to a variety of biomedical and pharmaceutical research applications, and his path to success is something that our graduate students should aim to emulate as they progress to the next stage in their careers,” said Adam Blatt, a fifth-year MD/PhD candidate in the infection, immunity and transplantation track, and president of the Council of Biomedical Graduate Students.

In addition to Zhao’s free, public keynote presentation, the forum’s main event will be the oral and poster presentations by PhD students in the fields of infection, immunity and transplantation; neurosciences and neurological disorders; cancer biology; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; and pharmacy.

Each presentation will be judged by different faculty members both inside and outside of the departments the students are in. This provides an opportunity for students to thoroughly explain their research while also getting an outside perspective on their work, according to Blatt.

“The Graduate Research Forum is an excellent way for students to learn about their colleagues’ research and to practice their scientific communication skills in a friendly, instructional environment,” Blatt said.

Nearly 40 students will present on Thursday, and selected finalists will present again Friday morning. Winners will be chosen from that group by Zhao and other guest judges.

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