Postdoc Research Day

The Postdoctoral Research Day was created to give postdoctoral trainees, who provide invaluable support and work in the laboratory, the opportunity to present their current research to peers and mentors through oral and poster presentations. The event includes a keynote address given by a prominent scientist.

Seventh Postdoctoral Research Day

For Dr. Peter Grunert, a native of Austria, the decision to come to Weill Cornell Medical College for postdoctoral research in neurosurgery was an easy one.

"I knew Weill Cornell's Neurological Surgery Department is famous for spine surgery," he said. "This is one of the best places to do research."

Dr. David P. Hajjar, dean of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Genetics, left, and Dr. David C. Lyden, the Stavros S. Niarchos Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology at Weill Cornell and a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at Postdoctoral Research Day April 10.
Photo credit: Amelia Panico

Dr. Grunert has, since last year, delved into research evaluating the impact of tissue–engineered spinal discs implanted in rats, the results of which may have clinical implications for patients with disc degeneration who now depend on metal prostheses.

"It's hard work and a lot of commitment, but it's very rewarding," said Dr. Marisa Carbonaro, who completed graduate school at Weill Cornell and decided to stay on for her postdoctoral training with research focusing on oncology drugs. "I'm learning something new all the time."

Dr. Grunert and Dr. Carbonaro joined 52 of their fellow postdocs at Weill Cornell on April 10, to present their research during the Medical College's seventh annual Postdoctoral Research Day, a four–hour long event that offers postdocs the opportunity to share their research with their colleagues, faculty and other investigators. Nearly 300 people packed Griffis Faculty Club to learn about the work being done at Weill Cornell, including Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.

"I think you’ll find the research impressive," said Dr. Randi B. Silver, associate dean of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, professor of Physiology and Biophysics and faculty director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. "We are very proud of the contributions of the postdocs to the institution's research and today they have the opportunity to showcase their efforts."

Postdocs at Weill Cornell share their research with their colleagues, faculty and other investigators during the Medical College's seventh annual Postdoctoral Research Day April 10.
Photo credit: Amelia Panico

The postdocs presented posters on research in six categories: oncology; neuroscience; cardiology and hematology; microbiology and immunology; metabolic diseases; and computational biology. Leaders of the Medical College's Postdoctoral Association say the sheer number of presenters is a testament to the dedication they bring to their work.

"It's a major accomplishment considering it takes a lot to put these posters together," said Dr. Giovanni Passiatore, a board member of the association and chair of the association's Research Day Organizing Committee.

The Postdoctoral Research Day was created to give postdoctoral trainees the opportunity to present their current research to peers and mentors through oral and poster presentations. The Research Day Organizing Committee, comprised of nearly a dozen postdoctorates, met biweekly since November to plan the event.

It also featured addresses from two prominent scientists, Dr. David P. Hajjar, dean of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Genetics who spoke of the future of postdoctoral research, and Dr. David C. Lyden, the Stavros S. Niarchos Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology at Weill Cornell and a pediatric neuro–oncologist at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, whose talk was titled, "Tumor–derived Exosomes 'Educate' Bone Marrow Progenitor Cells Towards a Pro–metastatic Phenotype."

Weill Cornell postdocs share their research with colleagues, faculty and other investigators during the Medical College's seventh annual Postdoctoral Research Day April 10.
Photo credit: Amelia Panico

"Today is about celebrating the research efforts of postdocs here at Weill Cornell, as well as giving everyone a sense of where they can go next in their careers," said Dr. Amanda Sadacca, vice president of the association.

It's on that last point that Dr. Hajjar pledged to postdocs that the institution will do whatever it can to help them in their burgeoning careers.

"It's no secret that federal budgets are going to be flat, and they are going to be flat for a while," he said to a standing–room–only crowd. "We recognize that the job market is going to be tough. But we will think about how we can help mentors 'package' you to get the right job."

Members of the Medical College's Postdoctoral Association Research Day Organizing Committee: Giovanni Passiatore, Leigh Amanda Sadacca, Kwame Osei–Sarfo, Frances Gratacos, Harvey Chin, Manu Jain, Mayako Michino, Ronald Perez, Madhumitha Nandakumar, Marin Schlossberg, Georgette Yandolino.

To see more pictures from the Postdoctoral Research Day click below