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GSBS celebrates end of academic year with student awards

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

May 29, 2015
  • Chancellor Collins presented GSBS student Bo Han with the Chancellor’s Award
  • Dean Carruthers with Outstanding Mentor Award recipients Christine Ulbricht and Greg Orlowski
  • Dean Carruthers, with Curriculum Achievement Award recipients (L-R) Nicholas Rice, Michael Kiritsy and Jacob Hunnicutt.
  • Dean Carruthers with Chancellor’s Award recipient Bo Han
  • Dean Carruthers with Most Insightful Thesis Research Award recipients Laura Danai and Po-shen Chen
  • Dean Carruthers with Student Community Service award recipients Priyanjali Ghosh and Nathaniel Erskine
  • Dean Carruthers with Most Insightful Mid-Thesis Research award recipient Spencer Adams
  • Dean Carruthers with GSBS Class Speaker Allie Muthukumar
  • Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs Michele Pugnaire speaks with GSBS award recipient Greg Orlowski
  • UMMS biostatistician Nisha Kini, MPH, and GSBS students Tyler Doughty, Joseph Yawa, Djade Soumana, Melissa Fulham, Eric Swanson, Sally Trabucco, Dave Moffard and Po-shen Chen
  • Bo Han with postdoctoral scholars Kaycee Quarles and Paul Albosta
  • Thomas Fazzio, PhD; Charles Sagerström, PhD; William Kobertz, PhD; Sean Ryder, PhD; and Jennifer Benanti, PhD
  • Phillip Zamore, PhD, and Bo Han
  • Kayleigh Gallagher, Claudine Mapa, Sarah Hainer and Heather Arsenault during the GSBS Celebration of Student Achievement reception

Scientists will excel in their careers if they are able to work on novel ideas independently, yet have the courage to seek the expertise of others, Dean Anthony Carruthers, PhD, told the crowd assembled Thursday, May 28, at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Celebration of Student Achievement.

“When faced with a challenge beyond your immediate understanding, you must reach out to colleagues who are possessed with the necessary expertise; talk the problem through, seek guidance, ask for help,” said Dean Carruthers, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology. “Together—I promise you—you will arrive at a solution much better than any one of you alone could have produced.”

Carruthers noted that ideas are always better when shared and debated with peers and mentors; yet they are best when they’re unpolluted by the conventional thinking of others.

 “Thinking outside of the box is a skill that you must never lose; creativity is a catalyst for your success, as a student and beyond,” he said. “However, there’s a time and place for everything.”

Carruthers reminded the students and award winners that, “the synergy that results from the clash of individual creativity with collective wisdom, coupled with hard work and determination, can be explosive and will stimulate your career development.”

Thirteen scientists, including some who will graduate on Sunday, May 31, during UMass Medical School’s 42nd Annual Commencement, were recognized for academic achievement, mentoring, service and scholarship. They include:

Chancellor’s Award
Bo Han
Using experimental and computational strategies to understand the biogenesis of microRNAs and piRNAs
Phillip D. Zamore, PhD, mentor

Curriculum Achievement Award
Nicholas Rice, Basic and Biomedical Sciences
Michael Kiritsy, MD, PhD Program
Jacob Hunnicutt, Clinical and Population Health Research

Outstanding Mentoring Award
Greg Orlowski, Mentoring in a Research Setting
Christine Ulbricht, Mentoring in a Research Setting

Recognition of Student Community Service
Priyanjali Ghosh
Nathaniel Erskine

Dean’s Award for the Most Insightful Mid-thesis Research
Spencer Adams
Molecular and Organismal-Level Studies of Bioluminescence
Stephen Miller, PhD, mentor

Leyuan Ma
Targeting Drug Resistance and Residual Cancer Stem Cells in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemi
Michael Green, MD, PhD, mentor

Dean’s Award for the Most Insightful Doctoral Thesis Research
Laura Danai
Role of protein kinase Map4k4 in energy metabolism
Michael Czech, PhD, mentor

Po-shen Chen
Regulation of embryonic stem cell pluripotency by the Tip60-p400 chromatin remodeling complex
Thomas Fazzio, PhD, mentor

Recognition of Class Speaker
Allie Muthukumar
Astrocyte-neuron interactions regulate nervous system assembly and function
Marc Freeman, PhD, mentor