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Graduate Education Office (GEO) Newsletter

October 7, 2020
in this issue: 

1. GEO Leadership Corner
2. BGSO Announcements
3. MGSO Announcements

4. Ohio State: Postdoc & PhD Career Fair
5. Workshop on Mitigating the COVID-19 Pandemic
6. Call for Nominations for St. Jude Graduate Student Symposia
7. Congrats to Jennings Luu on 1st author paper and cover in Human Molecular Genetics
8. CWRU Fall 2020 Update from the President and Provost
9. Upcoming Seminars

GEO Leadership Corner

I was at a meeting yesterday and someone pointed out that we are halfway through the “in person” session of the Fall semester. I hope everything is going well for everyone: from those trying to finish experiments for their thesis defense to those working through rotations and our Master’s students who are managing remote learning or combining in-person and remote learning. 

Last Friday, the University announced updates to the Spring academic calendar. Classes will begin on Monday February 1st for all programs that are under the School of Graduate Studies, which is most of our programs in the School of Medicine. As is the case for Fall, the academic calendar is for classes only. Students involved in research projects will follow the University holiday schedule

We recognize the stresses that late start and social distancing has had on lab rotations for our newer doctoral students. We will take advantage of the delayed start of the Spring semester and extend the time available for lab rotations until February 1st. There is no need to wait until February if you have found a match for your dissertation research.

This Friday at 4:30 I will have a town hall meeting to check in with everyone to see how the Fall semester is going and answer any questions that you have. 

Zoom Information:
Passcode: 855783


Spring Calendar

  • Monday, Feb. 1: First Day of Spring Semester Classes
  • Friday, May 7: Last Day of Spring Semester Classes
  • Monday, May 10, and Friday, May 14: Reading Days
  • Tuesday, May 11: Final Exams Begin
  • Wednesday, May 19: Final Exams End
  • Sunday, May 30: Commencement

BGSO Announcements

Pumpkin Decorating Happy Hour!:

Hey everyone! BGSO is getting ready for spoopy season and is excited for our first ever virtual pumpkin decorating happy hour! No worries, supplies will be provided upon RSVPing for the event. You may even win an Amazon gift card if your pumpkin is voted best-dressed! Please, take our survey to RSVP and help us determine two best dates to do the decorating.  Click here to download flyer.

Please see the following notice from GSC:

As you may know, KSL is canceling $470,000 worth of access to journals, databases, and subscriptions. You can find the list of what is being canceled here. Page numbers per discipline are as follows:
  • Arts & Humanities 1-9
  • Business 10-13
  • Engineering 14
  • Science 15-16
  • Social Sciences 17-20
  • Interdisciplinary 21
  • Memberships 22
If you are affected by any of these cancellations, please fill out this survey by October 10th. GSC is collecting data on how many students these changes will affect and the extent to which they will impact research, grants, and publications. You may respond anonymously.

MGSO Announcements

Minority Graduate Student Organization (MGSO) is voting on a new executive board for the 2020-2021 academic year! Please read the nominee summaries by clicking the link in the form description to learn about their experience and goals for their positions before voting! Voting will be open until Friday, October 9th!
Vote here

Upcoming Events & Announcements

Ohio State: Postdoc & PhD Career Fair


The Ohio State University has an upcoming virtual recruitment event focused on hiring Postdoctoral and Doctoral Professionals for industry and research positions. The event will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) degrees, but all our 600+ postdocs and ~11,000 PhDs are welcome to attend. If you or your colleagues are interested in hiring these diverse, high-caliber professionals, then please join us virtually for:

Date: November 4th and 5th
Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (virtual 1-hour info or Q&A session between these hours, either day)

Registration here via Handshake

All high-level OSU professionals are eligible to participate in this career fair event. There will be some exploring careers in industry versus academia, while the majority attending will be focused on finding a career in industry or research!

Workshop on Mitigating the COVID-19 Pandemic with Dr. Kelly McMann and Dr. Daniel Tisch


Join Professors Kelly McMann and Daniel Tisch for an interactive workshop. 
Saturday, October 17
2:30-4:00 PM EST
Open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Register here.
How is research on campus about political institutions and epidemics helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic in local communities and beyond?
How can you have an impact too?
Kelly McMann is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at CWRU.  Daniel Tisch is Associate Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at CWRU.  Professors McMann and Tisch also work as consultants for international development organizations and the Cleveland Department of Public Health, respectively.



St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is currently seeking nominations of students to be considered for the 19th annual St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital National Graduate Student Symposium (NGSS), and 6th annual Future Fellow Research Conference (FFRC). These exceptional academic and professional development opportunities for PhD students will be held April 6-8, and August 3-5, 2021, respectively. The 2021 NGSS will be hosted virtually, however we are waiting until the new year before deciding whether or not the 2021 FFRC will be held on the St. Jude campus.

The NGSS and FFRC are all-expenses-paid symposia to which top PhD students from around the country are invited to participate. To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with an estimated graduation between April 2021 and July 2022. Preference will be given to students whose work is relevant to ongoing research at St. Jude.

These symposia are not advertised. Students may apply only if they are nominated by faculty. To nominate students, please visit and complete a simple form.  Faculty may nominate multiple students, but nominations must be received by October 27th, 2020. 

Invitations to apply will be sent to students at the beginning of November. For those graduating before April 2021 who may be interested in postdoctoral fellowships at St. Jude, please review the list of current open positions. Visit and contact for additional information.

Jennings Luu, Ph.D. student in Pharmacology was the 1st author on a recently published article that also received the cover in Human Molecular Genetics in August.  Click here to read article.

The School of Medicine presents


CWRU Fall 2020 Update
from the President
and the Provost 

                           Friday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m.                  
             Join Interim President Scott Cowen and Provost Ben Vinson III
for a live webinar, presenting university news and information
and taking questions from the audience.
Please plan to attend this live webinar.*
Passcode: 314018
*Capacity for the live webinar is 1,000 and it will not be recorded.

University of Michigan
Virtual Postdoc Preview

November 9-11, 2020
This recruiting event awards 20 upper-level graduate students the opportunity to explore the extensive postdoctoral research and training opportunities in biomedical sciences available at U-M. During a three-day virtual visit, invited candidates will interview with prospective mentors, network with current postdocs, and learn about life in Ann Arbor. Applicants are selected from a national pool of candidates who expect to complete their thesis research by Summer 2021. Applications are open until September 30, 2020. Interested candidates can visit our sites for more information or to apply.

Upcoming Seminars

Monday, October 12th

Pathology Student Seminar
Kelsey Polak - Jackson Lab
"TME drives aggressive PDAC through OSMR-ERK signaling"
3p Zoom

Thursday, October 15th

Immunology Journal Club
Bowen Zhou

Neurosciences Seminar
Hynek Wichterle, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and Neurology
Columbia University, New York
12pm Zoom

Molecular Biology & Microbiology Seminar
Leah Plasek and Sara Mason - Valadkhan Lab
 1p Zoom

Friday, October 16th
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Myles Brown, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

12p Zoom

Career & Professional Development

Click here to download flyer.

Postdoc Corner

Upcoming Events: 


Accessing care through the U.S. healthcare system can seem like a daunting, mountainous task. After all, we fear the unknown. In fact, a recent survey shows that only four percent of Americans truly understand the key components of their health insurance and how they impact their out-of-pocket costs, and for international postdocs, the statistic is undoubtedly even lower. Join us for an informative webinar where we will discuss those unfamiliar concepts and terms you may have come across when looking at health insurance benefit summaries or speaking with healthcare professionals. Fortunately, when armed with a bit of knowledge and understanding, accessing care seems like less of a mountain and more of a molehill.

Steve Johnson is the area vice president of Gallagher Benefit Services’ Student and Scholar Services division, and is responsible for the sales, administration and customer care of all university and research facility clients. Johnson's background working in the Graduate Division of a major research university, his degree in finance, and his 20 years of insurance experience have allowed him to help universities across the country design and implement quality, comprehensive postdoctoral benefit programs that reflect the value these institutions place on their postdocs.

 Date: 10/7/2020
When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
1:00 p.m. E.T.
Where: Webinar
United States
Contact: NPA staff

Click here to register.

Click here for a full list of events from the National Postdoctoral Association.

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Alyson Wolk
Molecular Medicine Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, October 7
10:30am – 12:30pm
"The Role of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Sorsby Fundus Dystrophy"

Caroline El Sanadi
Clinical Translational Science Dissertation Defense
Sunday, October 18
9:00 – 10:30am
"Development and Internal Validation of Tools to Aid Clinicians in Selecting Second-Line Therapies for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus"

Yuan Cai
Physiology and Biophysics Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, October 27
8:30 – 10:30am
"Striatal Acetylcholine-dopamine Interactions in Physiology and Pathophysiology"

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities from the
Cancer Center

Calls for applications for the Cancer Center Trainee Dream Experiment. This award is available to graduate or medical students, postdocs, residents, and fellows that have a cancer focused research project. Please find more details attached

Contact Damian Junk for more information.

Check out what's going on around campus

2020 National Speaker–Bernard L. Fraga, PhD 


Wednesday, October 21 at 4:30 p.m.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Power of Diversity Lecture Series presents national speaker, Bernard L. Fraga, PhD, political scientist and author of the awarding-winning 2018 book, The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America. Fraga will discuss the power of Latinx and other BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) voters to shape elections this November and beyond. 

He is an associate professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Fraga is interested in how group identities and electoral contexts impact political behavior.

The session will be moderated by Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Robert L. Solomon, Esq.  

Click here to register.

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.
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All rights reserved.

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