In the fall of 2014, a group of postdocs in Boston organized a two-day symposium for graduate students and postdocs at Boston University. Their goal was to educate attendees on the problems that threaten the sustainability of the research enterprise and their livelihoods, and to discuss potential solutions. The postdoc group, called the Future of Research (FOR), has since evolved into a national network of graduate students and postdocs. FOR members work toward shaping policies that will lead to better science and a more productive, efficient, and satisfied scientific workforce. Watch them discuss the origins of their group, the conclusions that emerged from the symposium, why scientists should care, and how to get involved.
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About the Speaker
Kristin Krukenberg is currently an analytical scientist at Shire. Before moving to Shire, she was a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard Medical School where she was a founding member of the Future of Research group and one of the lead organizers of the Future of Research Symposium in 2014. As a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco, she studied the molecular structure and function of the chaperone Hsp90. As a postdoctoral fellow, she studied the role of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerases and the post-translational modification, poly(ADP-ribose), in both cancer cells and the immune response from a biochemical and cell biological perspective.
Sarah Mazzilli completed her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute/University of Buffalo in 2013. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Avrum Spira in the section of Computational Biomedicine at Boston University School of Medicine. In the Spira laboratory, she develops models to elucidate the molecular events involved in the progression of precancerous to cancerous skin cells in order to identify targets and appropriate intervention studies.
Gary McDowell is a postdoctoral researcher at Tufts University and a Visiting Scholar at Boston College. He is also a member of the organizing committee with the Future of Research group. After training in chemistry, he moved into studying biochemistry and developmental biology in Xenopus laevis and has worked on non-canonical forms of ubiquitylation and mass spectrometry in developmental contexts. He then moved on to study his current work investigating the role of the cytoskeleton in a conserved mechanism for left-right organ patterning in embryo development in vertebrates.
Jessica Polka is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. She is interested in the assembly, function, and applications of protein polymers in bacteria, most recently membrane-breaking protein needles called R bodies. She was one of the lead organizers of the 2014 Boston Future of Research Symposium and is also involved with ASCB COMPASS, Rescuing Biomedical Research, and ASAPbio.
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