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Graduate Education Office (GEO) Newsletter

April 29, 2021
in this issue: 

1. GEO Leadership Corner
2. BGSO Announcements 
3. Coming up soon: Beyond the Professoriate's 8th Annual Online Career Conference for Graduate Students and PhDs

4. Technical Marketing Fellowship- Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship: Enhancing Research and Industry Career Horizons (EnRICH)
5. National Postdoctoral Association Webinar: Parents in the Pipeline
6. Join the Conversation on JUSTICE - Cash and Tech Prizes
7. Upcoming Seminars


GEO Leadership Corner

Spring was in the air this week, which means graduation season is just around the corner. We would like to congratulate everyone who has completed their masters or doctoral degrees in the past year. 2021 was marked with numerous additional challenges that make the accomplishment even more rewarding. Today we would like to highlight the Doctoral Excellence Award and Masters Program Award winners. One student in each program is chosen for the Doctoral Excellence Award based on three criteria: Original Scholarly Work, Significant Contribution to the Field, and Significant Service Contributions.  Master’s award winners were selected by their program to exemplify excellence as defined by their program.
Congratulations again to everyone.
Marvin and Cheryl 


Marvin Nieman, PhD, FAHA                          Cheryl L. Thompson, Ph.D.

Interim Associate Dean for                            Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives, SOM
Graduate Education                                      Associate Professor
Associate Professor                                      Department of Nutrition
Department of Pharmacology                       Case Comprehensive Cancer Center



BGSO Announcements



Attention all BSTP graduate students:

This year, BGSO is launching the Mentor Match-up program. Interested current graduate students will have the opportunity to mentor an incoming BSTP student who shares their research and academic interests. As the mentor, you will be one of the first friendly faces the new students will contact regarding rotations, information about CWRU or Cleveland, etc. If you are interested, please sign up on the Google sheet via the link below. Include your name, email, department, and research interests. The Mentor Matching sign-up will close May 5th!

RTA Vote Results

The result for the all-in RTA pass for the graduate students in the School of Medicine is in. The pass was rejected. No graduate student in the School of Medicine will have access to the universal pass, but students individually can purchase the standard monthly pass at the rate of $95 per month directly through the RTA. Additional questions can be sent to BGSO at

Let's Taco Bout It!
Hello all! The BGSO has created a Zoom link for a virtual lunch each week on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:30-1:30! Come for a few minutes or come for an hour! For sure, come and have fun! 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 964 4855 8123
Passcode: 392001


2021 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS)

After a successful 2020 Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS), we're ready to plan next year's event! If you are interested in being a member of the organizing committee, please fill out the attached google form. Those interested will meet early 2021 to transition in the new subcommittees.


Upcoming Events & Announcements

Beyond the Professoriate's 8th Annual Online Career Conference for
Graduate Students and PhDs

Are you ready for Beyond the Professoriate's 8th Annual Online Career Conference for Graduate Students and PhDs?

Every year, Beyond Prof hosts a two-day event to teach graduate students and PhDs strategies for landing a job.

The CWRU Graduate Professional Development Center has already paid for you to attend, so make sure to take advantage of this professional development opportunity!

We're incredibly excited about this year's conference and our line-up of speakers!

On May 1st, join the Beyond Prof team for "how to" seminars. We'll talk about:

  • preparing for the economic recovery as we come out of the Covid-19 recession;
  • finding a job that aligns with your values;
  • strategies to translate your academic work experience into the language of employers;
  • why you can't job search alone, and how to find mentorship and community during your career transition.

On May 8th, we'll host 4 panel discussions featuring PhDs who have successfully navigated the job search and career transition process. They'll share strategies for:
  • networking and stay socially connected; 
  • the hiring process and negotiating a job offer;
  • transitioning into a nonacademic job;
  • job searching during the Covid-19 recession.

Who is the conference for?
If you're a graduate student (Master’s or PhD) interested in learning how to find a job after your degree, this conference is for you!

If you are contingent faculty, postdoc, or a faculty member who wants (or needs) a nonacademic job, this conference is for you! The majority of our speakers left academia after working as a faculty member or postdoc.

How do we attend?
Both days of the conference will be hosted via video conferencing in Aurora. Video replay will be available starting May 15th. Advanced registration by April 30th is required. Login using your CWRU network ID and passphrase. 

Technical Marketing Fellowship- Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship:
Enhancing Research and Industry Career Horizons (EnRICH)

The technical marketing fellowship provides 2 students with the opportunity to provide technical writing expertise for the Veale Institute and Tech Transfer offices. This role is responsible for the commercial support needed to educate external audiences regarding the value of assets arising from university research and how these solutions can create new business opportunities. 

Two tracks available: 

  1. Engineering
  2. Life Sciences.


  • Possess a thorough understanding of the technology, formulations, applications, and performance requirements in Engineering or Life Sciences 
  • Work in collaboration with Tech Transfer and Veale Institute to create marketing materials to explain the background, overview, stage of development, benefit, applications, and value proposition.
  • Work with researchers and graduate students to understand technical details of research and identify value, market, and growth opportunities.


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Must have broad technical skills in engineering or life sciences
  • Ability to develop good working relationships with faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Time Commitment

  • 5 hours per week for a 6 month or 1 year commitment


  • Graduate students receive $15/hour and undergraduate students receive $12/hour

Interested? Email resumes to Doug DeGirolamo at

                                Parents in the Pipeline

Hosted by the NAFSA Postdoc Special Interest Group, this webinar will highlight the Parents in the Pipeline Report conducted by UC Hastings School of Law, in partnership with the NPA. Covering what laws protect the rights of postdocs depending on their grant type, the webinar will provide an overview of the challenges faced by postdoc parents as well as the strategies used to succeed as a new parent postdoc. What institutions can do to provide support for postdoc parents will also be covered.

Kryste Ferguson, NPA manager of membership & special projects, and Jessica Lee, staff attorney at the Center for Work Life Law at the University of California, Hastings School of Law, will present the session.

Advanced registration is required. Register here.

North Star Experience and Contest for CWRU Students

The Conversations on JUSTICE event series was selected as a CWRU North Star experience by the Office of the Provost. The Inamori Center invites CWRU students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students) who attended at least one of these two events (or watched the video recordings) to join the conversation by submitting a response in the form of a:

  • written short essay, poem, song, or narrative;
  • spoken poem, speech, or interpretive reading or performed song (audio or video); or
  • visual composition of choice, such as photography, video compilation, or other artistic or technical creation 

Students may also elect to have their submission considered for the following prizes:

  • Up to three $500 awards for superlative submissions
  • Up to three technology prizes for superlative submissions

Entries must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 5th.



Call for Applications – CWRU Translational Fellows Program

The CWRU Translational Fellow Program (TFP) seeks to train individuals in entrepreneurship and the translation of innovation into commercial ventures by connecting them to programs and workshops around campus while protecting time for their entrepreneurial activities. 

We are seeking applications from individuals who are employed by CWRU or its hospital partners or who are students at CWRU and are interested in a career in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Applications are especially encouraged from doctoral students, post-docs, and/or research staff.  Applicants will commit to work through the process of developing a technology for commercialization either from their own laboratory or agree to be assigned a technology.  This fellowship will run from 7/1/2021 through 6/30/2022.
·         Up to 20% salary coverage for 12 months
·         Training and support for commercialization efforts
·         Entrepreneurship/commercialization mentoring team
·         Commitment to one day/week (20%) set aside for moving the technology to market
·         Participation in the Case Venture Mentor Program, which will pair you will your mentoring team and set up regular meetings
·         Participation in I-Corps@NCATS program with your team, including the PI of the technology
·         Monthly group meetings
·         Attendance at workshops throughout the program (about 3-4 times/year)
·         Sharing of experiences in program on LinkedIn
·         Must have a salary or stipend paid through CWRU or an affiliate and/or be supported by a training grant.  Ideally a senior doctoral student or post-doc at CWRU, but consideration will be given to others who have time and potential to excel in the program.
·         Either currently working with a PI on a CWRU or affiliate based technology that has the potential for commercialization (preferred) or willingness to be paired with a PI
·         Must be willing to commit to 20% effort for one full year, starting July 1, 2021
Selection criteria:
·         Interest in entrepreneurship
·         Commercialization potential of technology (if proposed)
·         If you are currently working with a PI, support from that PI
·         If you are currently a CWRU employee/student and requesting to work with a PI for 20% of your effort, support from current supervisor
·         Applications are highly encouraged from females and underrepresented minorities
To apply:
·         Statement of career interests and how this program fits in with your career path, and, if relevant, brief description of technology that the fellow proposes to work toward commercializing (1 page maximum)
·         Letter of support from PI/supervisor demonstrating willingness to allow for 20% buy out of time, support of entrepreneurial activities (including participation in I-Corps if the PI) and attesting to the strength of candidate (1 page maximum)
·         Form filled out and submitted along with above via Infoready by April 30, 2021
·         Individuals selected for participation will be notified around May 31, 2021
Questions may be directed to Cheryl Thompson, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives, School of Medicine, at  We anticipate supporting 5 or more fellows in this cohort.

2021 GradFUTURES Forum

CWRU graduate students and postdocs has been invited to participate in the 2nd Annual GradFUTURES Forum: April 26th-30th – via zoom and live streaming. The theme of the 2021 Forum is “Broadening the Impact of the Ph.D. Within and Beyond the Academy: The Imperative of Graduate Student Professional Development.”
Sessions will center around six core areas:

  • Data transparency
  • Experiential Learning
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Learning Cohorts and Communities
  • Mentorship and Networking
  • National Ph.D. Career & Professional Development Initiatives

Here is the schedule – (Please register under the alumni & guest option).

ME Conferences is pleased to announce the upcoming “6th International Conference on Molecular Medicine and Diagnostics” scheduled during May 20, 2021. Molecular Medicine 2021 will be an online event concentrating on the core knowledge and major advances in the ever-expanding field of molecular biology by attracting experts on a global scale. Click here for more details.

Summer Biochemistry Course- BIOC 405

The Department of Biochemistry would like to let you know about a biochemistry course, BIOC 405 that we'll offer in June.  This 5-week graduate course (beginning June 1) is intended primarily for MS students who are headed for careers in the health sciences.  BIOC 405 lets you meet the requirement of many professional programs for a biochemistry course and helps prepare for entrance exams.

The course will be synchronous remote, following university safety requirements..
BIOC 405 will survey the molecules of living systems and will stress the structure and function of proteins, and the metabolism of small molecules, with frequent references to the role of these molecules in human health and disease.  Topics include: protein structure and function; enzymes; membranes; bioenergetics; and intermediary metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides.  One year of organic chemistry is required.  
If you are interested in taking BIOC 405 this summer, please contact Dr. Snider at or Dr. Wang at  We will be happy to answer questions. 

The Evolution of Public Health into Global Health Practice
MPHP 496

This condensed course will use readings and case studies to explore the motivating factors in the emergence of global health interventions over the last 200 years, with a focus on its roots in public health practice, its expanding scope in the early to mid- 20th century, and the strengths and weaknesses of modern global health interventions. Readings and seminar discussions will involve consideration of the changing definitions of "public health", and of the spaces in which public health interventions are expected to occur.  

This course that will be offered online asynchronously from June 1-July 2.  If you have any questions, please contact Tara Hannum.

CWRU Resources Available to Students
We all need a little help sometimes.  If you find yourself in need of assistance, here are some resources available to students from CWRU:
Source: Katie Gaffen, Department of Nutrition

New Virtual Mental Health Option for CWRU Students—
Wherever They Are

CWRU has announced a new initiative to help ensure that students living outside of Ohio can access mental health care during these trying times called CWRU Care. CWRU Care is a 24/7 mental telehealth care service that undergraduate, graduate and professional students can access from wherever they are.
Through CWRU Care, students can access two kinds of appointments: TalkNow Visits, which are available 24/7 and provide immediate support, and Scheduled Visits, which is a scheduled option for students to speak to a licensed counselor based on their needs and schedule. International students will only be able to use the 24/7 TalkNow visits, and not the scheduled option.

For more information about the program or to make an appointment, please visit


Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, April 29th

Neurosciences Seminar
Guoping Feng, PhD
Poitras Chair Professor of Neuroscience
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Dissecting neurobiological mechanisms of ASD: from genes to circuits"
12p Zoom
Friday, April 30

Cancer Center Seminar Series Mini Retreat

10:20-10:35am: Nima Sharifi, MD – “GlucocorticoidMetabolism in Prostate Cancer”
10:35-10:40am Q&A

10:40-10:55am: Hannelore Heemers, PhD – “A NovelDeterminant of Prostate Cancer Progression”
10:55-11:00am Q&A

11:00-11:15am: Berkley Gryder, PhD – “Androgen ReceptorInverse Agonists”
11:15-11:20am Q&A

11:20-11:35am: Anant Madabhushi, PhD – “ArtificialIntelligence for Prostate Cancer”
11:35-11:40am Q&A


10:20a Zoom

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD
Executive Vice President, Oncology Services, Jefferson Health
Chair & Hilary Koprowski Endowed Professor, Department of Cancer Biology
President, Association of American Cancer Institutes

"Novel Strategies for Targeting Advanced Prostate Cancer"
12p Zoom

Neurosciences Seminar
Lisa Boxer, PhD
Department of Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
"Chromatin regulation in neuronal development and disease"

1p Zoom

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Brecken Blackburn
Biomedical Engineering Dissertation Defense
Monday, May 10th
"Development of Phase Decorrelation Optical Coherence Tomography for Assessment of the Ocular Lens and Cornea
Liyan Fan
Pathology Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, May 12th
"Kruppel-like Factor 15 Regulation of Systemic Metabolic Homeostasis
Ann W. N. Auma
Pathology Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, June 2nd
"The Impact of Direct-acting Anti-viral Therapy on Naive CD4+ T Cell Lymphopenia and Cellular Immune Activation in HCV Infection and HCV/HIV Co-infection Respectively

GEO Wants to Hear From You

Have you published a paper, received a fellowship, or have other exciting news you want to share?  Well, the Graduate Education Office would like to hear you. To submit information to be included in the GEO newsletter, please complete the GEO announcement submission form.

The Huddle provides news and information about our interprofessional education and collaborative practice efforts within and beyond Samson Pavilion and the dental clinic.  Click here to read the latest issue.

The Pulse

The Pulse, the School of Medicine's newsletter, where you can keep current with latest news from the school every month. If you have news to share in future issues, submit your story here.  Watch for The Pulse in your inbox each month, stay informed and enjoy!  Click here to read latest SOM news.
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