The Promoter-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2013 No. 15


The Promoter

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letter from the Department Head

“What’s new?” Many conversations begin with this phrase. In the Department of Biological Sciences the answer is typically “lots!”

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Future Faculty Explore Education Beyond the Bench

I am a terrible teacher. I talk too fast. I have no sense of timing for a lecture, and I cannot figure out how to contort my body in order to look at my students while writing on the board. I’m not a good teacher – not yet. The Sciences Teaching Club is helping me get there.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What’s Going On In There: Fluorescence Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University

Over the past 30 years, a brilliant program in biological imaging and microscopy has grown up at Carnegie Mellon University. Because digital imaging is so embedded into our daily lives, it’s hard to believe that when imaging got started here in the 1990s, collecting a digital image from a microscope was a technical feat. But advances in imaging technology found fertile ground at CMU. Integrating probe development with automation and computational analysis helped transform the field of biological microscopy from an operator-dependent, visual scoring process to a high-throughput, quantitative and systematic approach to understanding the fundamental operations within living cells and organisms.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Researchers can Learn from Improv Theater

I’m sitting in the middle of a circle across from a graduate student, and we’re trying to talk at the same time. We’re not interrupting each other — I’m listening to every word, trying to repeat it back simultaneously. I shut my eyes but trail several words behind, never catching up.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Circle of Science: Developmental Stages of an Academic Career in Biology

Our scientific careers mimic embryogenesis — we develop over time. We start as a simple embryo, like a graduate student, and transform into a complex adult, like an academic professor. Similar to all organisms, we have to make sure that we possess the necessary components for successful development as well as avoid deleterious mutations along the way.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Assistant Professor: Aryn Gittis, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Appointment, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Assistant Professor: N. Luisa Hiller, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Appointment, Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute
Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Northwestern University Medical School

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Assistant Professor: Sandra Kuhlman, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Appointments, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) & Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Ph.D. in Physiology, University of Kentucky
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alumni Profile: D.J. Kleinbaum’s Journey to Co-founding Emerald Therapeutics

Wanted: Passionate, creative-thinking problem-solvers interested in disrupting the traditional landscape of biotechnology.

Emerald Therapeutics is doing just that. Co-founded by alumni D.J. Kleinbaum and Brian Frezza, the company is taking an interdisciplinary approach to solving the problem of persistent viral infections that the body cannot clear on its own. The three-year old Silicon Valley startup is looking to revolutionize the biotechnology industry. Kleinbaum credits much of Emerald Therapeutics’s early success to the time he spent as a biological sciences student at Carnegie Mellon University.
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