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GSBS student assumes leadership position at Genetics Society of America

Sumeet Nayak named co-chair of communications and scientific engagement committee

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

February 24, 2017
  Sumeet Nayak

Sumeet Nayak

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student Sumeet Nayak is adding communications and public engagement skills to his portfolio as a scientist-in-training. The Genetics Society of America has named Nayak the 2017 co-chair of its communication and outreach committee.

Nayak learned about networking and leadership roles at the Genetics Society of America from Sonia Hall, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the GSBS Center for Biomedical Career Development. Dr. Hall recently assumed the society’s newly created position of program director for early career scientist engagement.

“The challenge of communicating science to the lay public is what motivated me to pursue this opportunity,” said Nayak, a third-year doctoral student in the laboratory of Sharon Cantor, PhD, associate professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology. “This will give me a platform to address that challenge while broadening my scientific and nonscientific networks.”

The communications and scientific outreach committee supports the society’s missions to communicate important scientific discoveries and advocate for continuing support of genetics research. With 2017 activities still in the planning stages, Nayak would like to develop content to highlight important trends in genetics research. Information will be disseminated via the association’s Genes to Genome blog and website, and to the scientific community at large and the general public via social media platforms.

Nayak is conducting his dissertation research on how DNA repair pathways are regulated by hereditary breast cancer genes. He is keeping his career goals open, but envisions them encompassing teaching, mentoring and leading as well as research. In 2016, his peers recognized him with the GSBS student Award for Outstanding Mentoring in a Research Setting.

“Sumeet has shown outstanding science mentorship. This new leadership role will be a perfect fit for him,” said Dr. Cantor.

“One thing I’d like to do with the GSA outreach programs is make students aware of the many career options they have, and encourage them to have an open mind,” Nayak said. “Apart from being a researcher, I would like to influence as many young minds as possible to be a good mentor as well.”

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
Sonia Hall assumes newly created leadership role at Genetics Society of America
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