Scientists across the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s more than 50 labs gathered this month for the foundation’s annual scientific retreat.
Held March 2-3, the event featured discussions and presentations of work taking place within each of OMRF’s five research programs.
The scientific retreat is an annual staple at the foundation, but OMRF paused the event from 2020 to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, this was the first such event for the graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and senior scientists who joined OMRF over the last three years.
“It’s important for us all to get together in one room and learn from each other,” said Vice President of Research Courtney Griffin, Ph.D. “Out of necessity, our labs became rather siloed during the pandemic. This event allowed us again to fully grasp the breadth and depth of the science that’s going on within our campus.”
Bojing Shao, Ph.D., a scientist in the lab of Lijun Xia, Ph.D., received the William G. Thurman Award for Outstanding Research Assistant Member.
Senior scientists also recognized their junior colleagues’ work. The award for best postdoctoral researcher paper was shared by Agnieszka Borowik, Ph.D., who works in the lab of Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Sheng-Jia Lin, from the lab of Gaurav Varshney, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral researchers are individuals conducting research after finishing their doctoral studies and pursuing further training and a well-defined career path. It is similar to a clinical residency for medical students.
Other postdoctoral and graduate students presented their research in the form of posters. Postdoctoral winners (and their supervising senior scientist) were:
- Yen Chun Ho, Ph.D. (Sathish Srinivasan, Ph.D.)
- Hina Lateef Nizami, Ph.D. (Chi Fung Lee, Ph.D.)
- Maria Narozna, Ph.D. (Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D.)
Graduate student winners were:
- Rahul Rajala (Courtney Griffin, Ph.D.)
- Jang Kim (Lorin Olson, Ph.D.)
- Aneta Kolakowska (Scott Plafker, Ph.D.)
- Abigael Williams (Susan Kovats, Ph.D.)