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2017- Genetics Career Workshop

April 19, 2017; 3:00-5:00 PM; 247 Plant Biology


Dr. Cathy Ernst –  Director, Genetics Graduate Program

Scott Funkhouser – Genetics Graduate Program, GSO President



Scout Calvert

Dr. Scout Calvert is the data librarian at Michigan State University. Her recent projects have traced the social aspects of data-centric knowledge production in lay communities of genetic genealogists, livestock breeders, and citizen scientists. Scout also investigates data and metadata practices in libraries and among academic researchers, exploring emerging research methods afforded by new forms of data and informing data policy issues in academic libraries. Before coming to MSU, Scout was a Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation in the Sciences and Social Sciences. She previously served as assistant project scientist at the University of California, Irvine, and was co-investigator, with others at the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (CalIT2), on the Health Data Exploration project. Scout earned her PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in History of Consciousness, a distinctive interdisciplinary graduate program, focusing on science and technology in society. Scout also holds an MA in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona.


Susan Kendall

Susan Kendall, PhD, MS(LIS), received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan in 1995 and did 5 years of postdoctoral work in genetics at Case Western Reserve University.  At that point, she decided not to pursue a biomedical research career any further and began to explore alternatives.  She found academic librarianship with a focus on the biological and health sciences to be a good fit.  She received her MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2001 and came to MSU in 2002 to take a faculty position as a health sciences/biological sciences librarian.  Since then, she has been promoted to health sciences coordinator at the MSU Libraries, now supervises 5 other health sciences librarians, and manages a $3 million budget for library materials.  She has found this position enables her to work with students at all levels, collaborate with professors to teach students information seeking and evaluation skills, and support research.  She also enjoys the opportunity an academic position allows her to present and publish and to think about, discuss, and have an impact on such relevant concerns as the future of access to scholarly communication.


Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum works to enhance public understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers and the public. She is executive director of ScienceDebate, a nonprofit nonpartisan initiative to restore science to its rightful place in politics and also director of The University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll. Sheril authored The Science of Kissing and Unscientific America and blogs at Scientific American.


David Lowry

David Lowry’s research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation to environmental stress and how those adaptations contribute to speciation and crop improvement. Lowry grew up in Northern California and attended UC Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in Genetics and Plant Biology in 2001. He completed his PhD in Genetics and Genomics at Duke University in 2010 working on adaptation and speciation in the yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus. Lowry was a USDA postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas from 2010-2013, working on the genetics of adaptation in the bioenergy crop switchgrass. He briefly was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Monterey Bay, before joining the faculty in the Department of Plant Biology at MSU in 2014. The Lowry Lab currently studies the genetics of adaptation to abiotic and biotic stress in Mimulus, switchgrass, and common bean, as a member of the new Plant Resilience Institute.


Arkadeep Sinha

Arkadeep Sinha received his bachelors in Biotechnology from West Bengal University of Technology, India followed by his PhD in Genetics from MSU. Akadeep’s PhD thesis was guided by Dr. Brian Haab at the Van Andel Research Institute, and focused mainly on the role of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in pancreatic cancer metastasis. In the final months prior to graduation, Arkadeep took up an internship opportunity with Pfizer's Bioprocess Development Group, Kalamazoo, working on the bioinformatics analysis of NGS data, and he was eventually offered a chance to continue his engagement there. He continuously strives to grow as a scientist with both wet and dry lab expertise and experience of both mammalian and bacterial systems.


Erin Wakeling

Erin Wakeling is a Technical Director of the Detroit Medical Center Molecular Genetics Laboratory and a board certified clinical molecular geneticist. Dr. Wakeling is involved in developing new assays and interpreting genetic test results for a wide range of inherited diseases and cancers. She supervises medical genetics residents, pathology residents and genetic counseling students during their rotation through the laboratory and lectures in multiple Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM) courses. She completed her clinical molecular genetics training at WSU SOM in 2014 and earned her board certification in clinical molecular genetics from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics in 2015. Dr Wakeling received her PhD in Genetics from MSU in 2010.


Roger Wise

Roger Wise earned a B.S. in Physiology from Michigan State University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the same institution in 1983, where he investigated the genetics of barley-powdery mildew interactions with Albert Ellingboe.  As a post-doc from 1984 to 1986 at the University of Florida with Daryl Pring, he cloned and demonstrated that the novel T-urf13 mitochondrial gene from T-cytoplasm maize was the molecular basis for the southern corn leaf blight epidemic of 1970. After a subsequent fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute in Koln, Germany, Wise was appointed as a Research Geneticist with USDA-ARS at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in 1989.  He also holds appointments in the Plant Pathology & Microbiology, Interdepartmental Genetics & Genomics, and Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Graduate Programs, becoming a full professor in 2000.  He is a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and AAAS.