University of Vermont

Biomedical Graduate Research Day Showcases Breadth and Depth of Student Work

Thomas Sladewski and Chris Berger
Thomas Sladewski, left, accepts the first place poster presentation award from Chris Berger, Ph.D. (Photo by Ed Neuert)

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, more than 20 graduate students from across the University of Vermont presented their work at the annual Biomedical Graduate Student Research Day hosted by the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

The day-long event included 17 poster presentations and eight research talks from graduate students in disciplines including neuroscience, cellular, molecular, and biomedical sciences, bioengineering, computer science, clinical and translational science, and others. Chris Berger, Ph.D., director of graduate education at the College of Medicine, presented awards at the end of the day to first, second and third place students in oral and poster categories.

Thomas Sladewski, a student in molecular physiology and biophysics, won first place in the poster category for his poster titled "Single-molecule reconstitution of mRNA transport by a class V myosin." Krithika Rao, a cellular, molecular and biomedical sciences student, garnered first place for her research talk titled "Priming with ligands secreted by human stromal progenitor cells promotes grafts of cardiac stem/progenitor cells after myocardial infarction." The Medical Alumni Association sponsored the awards presentation and reception.

The 2013 keynote speaker was Larry Goldstein, Ph.D., director of the stem cell program at the University of California, San Diego, and a distinguished professor in the departments of cellular and molecular medicine and neurosciences. He is also scientific director of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. His keynote talk was titled “Using Stem Cells to Probe the Secrets of Alzheimer’s Disease." Goldstein’s lab works with stem cells to better understand the molecular basis of neuronal defects in Alzheimer’s disease and Niemann-Pick Type C disease.  Using embryonic human stem cells, Goldstein is also developing a potential therapy for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) that is now being tested in animal models.

Goldstein's talk was presented by the UVM Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Student-Invited Speaker Committee, the UVM College of Medicine, and the Medical Alumni Association.