What Model Organism Are You?

CS_moreno_modelorgpic.png

By Amielle Moreno and Rachel Cliburn-Branco

What do you find the most terrifying?
a) Betrayal by a friend or loved-one.
b) Being lost in an unknown place.
c) Stranded on a desert island.
d) Trampled alive by a mass of people.
e) Loneliness.

You’ve just been assigned a new project with a firm deadline:
a) I’ll get to it when I get to it. No stress.
b) I get really excited about new assignments and design grand plans. My interest dips and before I know it, the deadline is in a couple days, and I’m rushing to finish.
c) I ask numerous people for their thoughts and ideas, maybe “borrowing” some approaches…

d) I have a steady pace, always working evenly towards my deadline
e) Persistent, committed and focused, I usually finish projects early.

You’re going to walk across campus:
a) I keep my eyes straight ahead, no eye contact with strangers.
b) I would rather avoid the rush between classes. Night time strolls always seem so peaceful.
c) Funding is always tight. On my way, I might see if other labs have left “free” supplies unattended.
d) What’s ‘walking’?
e) I’ll ask a friend to join me. Things are more fun with a buddy.

What is your lab bench/desk like?
a) It’s kinda messy with crumbs and papers strewn around.
b) It’s well stocked with snacks and water within reach.
c) Moist.
d) I definitely expand to the edge of my work space. Sometimes neighbors complain about my sprawl.

e) It’s right next to my favorite lab mate.

When you have a free night:
a) I like to hang out with my crew. We have a very specific social hierarchy.
b) I come alive! Where’s the party?
c) Yes, it’s finally dark. Now, let’s also make it quiet.
d) Light cycles mean little to me. I’m just as active during the day.
e) I like cuddling up with my special someone. Or if I’m single, you’ll find me on dates, trying to meet “the one.”

Describe your perfect blind date:

a) I like going out with a real leader, someone with drive, ambition and social clout.
b) My brother’s kinda cute…
c) Ugh, I’d rather cut off my arm.
d) I love when I find someone with the same interests. Someone like me!
e) I have never truly gotten over my first love… (wistful look into the distance)

Which letter did you pick the most?

a) Macaque Monkey: You mean business both at work and play which means you get things done. However, you can be a little too competitive and should consider other’s feelings. You get along great with other a

pes and mice.

b) Mousers or Mr. Meeces: You’re fun to be around; happy, chipper and excited about things. If only you were a little more focused academically and brave. Prairie voles can help you remind you what you love about science.

c) Blood Thirsty Leech: No one has seen you since you picked a PI and you’re draining them of their life-force and grant money. You’re cunning and use all the tricks in the book to get ahead. Be careful running afoul of social/professional climbing monkeys. They’ll take your harshness personal. Prairie voles and plates of cells serve your needs well.

d) Plate of Cells: Life’s pretty simple; you usually know what you want and what you have to do to get it. You’re adaptable and reasonable but this also means you sometimes aren’t adventurous and can be a real bore. Find a nice mouse to break you out of your monotony from time to time. You’re mostly immune to the games of leeches and they complement your work drive with their cunning.

e) Prairie Vole: Social and loyal, you like to make connections. This drive ends up serving you in professional collaborations. However, some friends have complained about how you dis

appear into relationships. Keep an eye out for new opportunities, instead of committing just to one project/person in your life. Avoid leeches.

Advertisements

Insider Food and Drink Tips for D.C. SfN 2017

By Amielle Moreno

If you’re one of the many hard-working young graduate students attending SfN in D.C. this year, congratulations! Luck has it, my old friend Liz is a D.C. chef and is giving you the inside scoop on some of the great food spots D.C. has to offer. And I know you’re a grad student, so we won’t strain the per-diem.

Right now, Shaw is the hottest neighborhood in D.C. for eats and night life and it’s located just north of the convention center. Get familiar with the street naming conventions – numbered streets will cross lettered streets – as you explore what the locals call “9th and 7th street.”

Smoked & Stacked’s homemade pastrami is just a couple blocks from the convention center, on 9th, and will fulfill all your sandwich dreams.

DC9 has no right to have such good food since it’s also a happening live music venue. At 9th and U street, DC9 has “banging fried chicken and solid bar food burgers named after bands,” says Liz. Local tip: check out the great roof top deck if you have good weather.

Or if drinks before, during, and after the conference is your thing, there’s a mid-west Chicago style dive bar called Ivy and Coney on 7th street with beer & shot specials, Italian beef sandwiches, and $5 hotdogs.

For the oyster and fancy cocktail lovers, check out the industrial styled Eat the Rich around five blocks from the conventions center.

As we move slightly more of a Lyft ride away from the convention center, there’s a spot that Liz called “ridiculous” at least three times. Archipelago on 11th and U street is a tiki bar that will fulfill all your dreams of crazy convention stories and giant flaming rum punches.

While a dinner at Ghibilina on 14th could run you around $30, their happy hour $8 pizzas and $6 paninis won’t bust your travel budget (but will require a ride).

For upscale post-conference drinks or dinner say hi to Liz’s new husband Jon, who is a chef at the popular happy hour spot Thally. Shameless plug? I doubt that Liz would ever recommend, let alone tolerate, a bad restaurant. But check out all the good reviews (and the roasted duck breast!) if you’re skeptical.

While some of you will be suckered into tourist attractions, like the greasy late night spot Ben’s Chilli Bowl, I hope you can check out some of the spots cultivated by my best friend just for you. If you want to taste her work, visit Chef Liz at Buffalo & Bergen for brunch and bagels inside the Union Market, two miles from the convention center.

Feel free to comment with your recommendations below! Safe travels!

 

Smoked & Stacked 1239 9th St NW Washington, DC 20001

Ivy and Coney 1537 7th St NW Washington, DC 20001 at N Q St

Eat the Rich1839 7th St NW Washington, DC 20001 b/t S St & T St

Archipelago 1201 U St NW Washington, DC 20009 b/t N 13th St & N 12th St

Thally 1316 9th St NW Washington, DC 20001 b/t O St & N St

Ghibellina 1610 14th St NW Washington, DC 20009 b/t N Q St & N Corcoran St

Ben’s Chili Bowl 1213 U St NW Washington, DC 20009 b/t N 13th St & N 12th St

Buffalo & Bergen 1309 5th St NEUnion Market Washington, DC 20002

 

Anzar and Amielle Save Your Inbox

by Amielle Moreno


You might have noticed a change in your Emory inbox of late. The ubiquitous e-mail forwards from the GDBBBS office are less frequent. One of the responsibilities of the GDBBS office is to communicate opportunities with the student body. We all know how this worked. Administrators would receive an e-mail that requested an announcement be shared with the list serve. With no edits, these e-mails were forwarded directly to your inbox, including messages directed to administrators (example below). Forwards would be made two to six times a week. NO MORE!

GDBBS emails
Forward directly to your trash

Thanks to your fellow graduate students Anzar Abbas and yours truly, the rein of forwards is over. It happened August 31st during a GDBBS administrator’s meeting concerning communication and outreach. Anzar and I were asked to attend. Towards the end of this meeting, Director Nael McCarty addressed how the office currently engages with the GDBBS students. With limited time before I needed to start a new experiment and too much coffee, I had gotten bold with my feedback: “Well, we get those e-mails from **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** all the time…”

“What?” **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** rose her head from her note taking.

“You know, you forward us GDBBS list serve request e-mails when you receive them. It’s really hard to keep up with.” **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** was stunned, almost confused. For a moment I thought I had confused **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** with someone else.

“Do you do that?” asked McCarty but **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** was still without words. “This is what we’re here to address.”

Anzar and I went on to describe how difficult it was to keep up. Students want to find opportunities but, since half of the e-mail forwards don’t apply to our goals, the bulk are ignored. Additionally, some are short notice and the event has happened before we can read them. I did not share how a number of graduate student sources say they filter GDBBS e-mails directly to their trash, to keep their inbox orderly. Or maybe I did say that, I was pretty caffeine high and glad to finally be addressing something that directly affected students.

Instead of sending out any request upon receiving it, we recommended they be bundled, much like the GSC announcements, into a single weekly e-mail. The administration listened. On September 28th, **RETRACTED BY EDITOR ELIZABETH BARFIELD** sent out the first ‘Weekly GDBBS Student E-Mail Update’ and the inboxes of over 400 graduate students got lighter.

GDBBS emails
You’re welcome

5th Annual Neuroscience Graduate Program Awards Ceremony

by Erica Akhter
photos by Amielle Moreno

Spurred by good ol’ program spirit and the promise of free booze, Emory’s finest showed up dressed to the nines for the 2017 Neuroscience Awards Ceremony.


Leadership Award
Chris Sinon
SinonWinShot 2
GIN ex-president Chris Sinon has enthusiastically served the Emory Neuroscience community in almost every capacity imaginable. Aside from fearlessly hosting recruitment parties and successfully campaigning to increase the GIN budget in dicey economic times, Chris has continually worked behind the scenes to organize, support and rally the program to both improve our community and expand our connections with other programs in Laney and beyond.

University Service Award
Elyse Morin

Morin_win_2017Elyse Morin has excelled in service both within and outside of the scientific community. Elyse has taken an active role in science advocacy, meeting with GA representatives and joining her advisor, Mar Sanchez, to speak to the House Committee on Appropriations in DC. In addition, she has served as senior coordinator for the Emory RespectCon, led workshops bringing together Atlanta resources for rape survivors and spent more than 1,700 hours on call for the Rape Crisis Center.

Outreach Award
Desiree De Leon

DesireeWinShotThough her outreach efforts may sometimes put her in hot water with advisors Larry Young and Mar Sanchez, Desiree has made a huge impact on the community. As the graduate representative for the Atlanta Chapter of SfN, Desiree has built a multi-university outreach empire, growing outreach efforts by nearly 1,000 students while serving as chair of the Atlanta Brain Bee and coordinator of Brain Awareness month and the ATL Science Festival Booth.

Outstanding Early Achievement Award
Andrea Pack

Pack_win_2017Andrea Pack had the honor of being the sole nominee for this award. When you view her CV it’s not hard to see why. In her two years at Emory, Andrea has been placed on two training grants, received an NSF graduate research fellowship, presented at two international conferences and is currently preparing a first author manuscript. In addition, she is extremely active in scientific outreach, pioneering her own course to teach science within a local prison.

Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award
Elizabeth Pitts

Pitts and profElizabeth Pitts has presented at too many conferences to count and is an author on eight publications, including first authorship on a paper in Neuropsychopharmacology and a review in Neurobiology of Disease. While spanning two distinct model systems and actively teaching, Liz has remained active in the program and received multiple awards for her research, including the prestigious honor of presenting to prospective students during the Emory recruitment process.

Excellence in Teaching Award
Arielle Valdez

ArielleWinShotArielle Valdez has served as a teaching assistant for a variety of rigorous courses on a variety of topics: everything from human anatomy to the ethics of vegetarianism. Arielle has reached students far beyond the neuroscience realm in which most of us live. In each course she’s taught, both her instructors and students have recognized her excellence, so much so that she was awarded the GDBBS-wide TATTO Teaching award. Despite already hitting this ceiling of recognition, she plans to continue broadening her teaching experiences.

Excellence in Mentorship Award
Elizabeth Pitts

Pitts Acceptance1Liz Pitt’s excellence in mentorship is reflected through both the quality and quantity of her students. Liz directly mentored eight undergraduates while at Emory, guiding them through in depth, long-term research projects. Her students have graduated with highest honors and – even more remarkably – a literature based understanding of their field and the ability to think critically about it. Some might say that thanks to Liz, they’re now positioned to have their own outstanding scientific achievements.

GIN Faculty of the Year
Shannon Gourley

GourelyWinShotDr. Shannon Gourley, pictured here with her Elizabeth’s, was selected from a sea of wonderful mentors because of her passion and dedication for her students. Perhaps best said by one of the Elizabeth’s themselves,  “Her altruistic and well-organized use of her time” and “dedication to her students’ and colleagues’ success” make her an exemplary representative of what makes Emory neuroscience a wonderful place.

GIN Student Service Award
Byron Gardner

Byron Acceptance3Byron Gardner continually attends, assists, and invigorates GIN events. He is always willing to use his creative energies for the betterment of the program and he stands out in his ability to make prospective students want to join in the fun. Ironically he could not attend this ceremony, but his efforts to go above and beyond at almost everything else make him more than deserving of the award anyway.

 

 

March for Science ATL

by Elizabeth Barfield

The Emory Neuroscience community took to the streets of Atlanta with thousands of fellow science supporters on Earth Day to participate in the March for Science. Check out some awesome aerial footage of the march by Byron Gardner here.

#StandUpForScience #ScienceMarchATL