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Tilghman to speak about research and career trends for biomedical scientists

Visit from national leader marks launch of GSBS career development initiative

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

October 10, 2014
  Shirley Tilghman, PhD
  Shirley Tilghman, PhD

Eminent scientist, educator and academic leader Shirley Tilghman, PhD, will speak at UMass Medical School about research and workforce challenges facing biomedical scientists. Her lecture on Thursday, Oct. 16, will mark the launch of a new, National Institutes of Health-funded career development initiative of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

“As a scientific community, we should we be thinking long term to ensure that biomedical workforce and scientific enterprise are sustainable,” said Cynthia Fuhrmann, PhD, assistant dean of career and professional development for the GSBS and co-principal investigator for the five-year, $2 million NIH-funded Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) grant.

“Dr. Tilghman puts into broad perspective the challenges facing the U.S. biomedical research and training enterprise that we are focusing on with the BEST grant and other initiatives,” said Dr. Fuhrmann

A world-renowned molecular biologist and president emeritus of Princeton University, Dr. Tilghman chaired the 1998 National Research Council report “Trends in the Careers of Life Scientists”; co-chaired the 2011 NIH Advisory Committee to the Director’s Working Group on the Biomedical Research Workforce; and co-authored the March 2014 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article “Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws.”

“Dr. Tilghman’s insights and the strength of her arguments will be helpful in making the case that continued and strategic evolution is needed in biomedical training, especially at an influential research and training institution like UMass Medical School,” said Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, associate dean of GSBS curriculum and academic affairs.

During her daylong visit, Tilghman will meet with Dr. Lane, Fuhrmann and BEST grant co-PI Phillip Zamore, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Gretchen Stone Cook Professor of Biomedical Sciences, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute. along with GSBS and UMMS leadership.

“Our BEST grant addresses career development, which is one facet of the recommendations championed by Dr. Tilghman,” said Fuhrmann. “We’re excited to hear from her as we launch our programs within the broader context of sustaining science in the United States.”

Open to the public, the lecture will take place on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 1:15 to 3 p.m. in the Albert Sherman Center auditorium. Pre-registration is preferred, but not required. Visit http://BEST.umassmed.edu for more information.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
NIH grant integrates career planning with scientific training, will help biomedical sciences trainees prepare for nontraditional careers
UMMS tech tool helps scientists navigate career path
Newsmaker: Career planning tool wins AAMC award

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