Vol 5. Issue 34 / November 7, 2005

Posters Showcase Work

By Mika Ono

Anyone walking through the Beckman Center galleria on the Scripps Research La Jolla campus last Wednesday would have encountered a wealth of information from recent experiments in chemistry and biology. As part of the Society of Fellows (SOF) Fall Poster Symposium, more than 50 Scripps Research postdocs, graduate students, and research assistants were sharing ideas and competing for the SOF's awards for the best work.

"I can't speak for all categories, but it seems to me the quality of the presentations was quite high," says Scientific Associate Ralph Pantophlet, SOF vice president who organized the event. "At first, some people were hesitant to share work in progress, but in the end everyone who entered benefited from the scientific exchange."

The SOF sponsors two symposia each year—one in the fall and one in the spring. The spring symposium consists solely of oral presentations and the fall symposium of posters. Both events recognize exceptional work by awarding prizes for work in different fields.

A number of Scripps Research faculty members volunteer to evaluate projects within their own area of specialty, reviewing the abstracts and sometimes speaking to candidates about their work. The judges' scores are then compiled. First-prize winners receive $700; second-prize winners receive $300.

 "In the past, the awards had to be used to pay travel expenses for attending conferences," says Pantophlet. "This year, though, winners have more choices. The money can be used to fund any scientific expense—including, say, an expensive textbook or software needed for a project."

This fall's winners are:

  • Chemistry: First place, Norman Metanis of the Keinan/Dawson labs; second place, John Picuri of the Ghadiri lab
  • Immunology/Cell Biology: First place tie, Joerg Birkenfeld and Violaine Delorme, both of the Bokoch lab; second place, Mark Madsen of the Quigley lab
  • Molecular Biology/Molecular & Experimental Medicine: First place Lu Gan of the Johnson lab; second place, Konstantin Stoletov of the Klemke lab
  • Neurobiology/Neuropharmacology: First place, Matt Trifilo of the Oldstone lab; second place, Jilla Sabeti of the Gruol lab.

Pantophlet extends his thanks to everyone who helped put together the SOF symposia, including fellow SOF Executive Committee members Becky Fraser, Trish Burdo, and Ron Nepomuceno. Himself a postdoc in the Burton lab, Pantophlet sees involvement in the SOF as an opportunity.

"Organizing these symposia brings me in contact with all sorts of people, including faculty," he says. "It's the kind of management experience you can't get in the lab."

For more information on SOF symposia, contact Ralph Pantophlet at rpanto@scripps.edu or x4-2502. For more information about the Society of Fellows and its upcoming events, see the SOF web site.  


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu




Scientific Associate Ralph Pantophlet organized the Society of Fellows fall symposium.