Students and Faculty Share Skills in Neuroscience Conference
Every summer, a number of Oberlin students gain valuable research experience working in professors' labs. This summer, those students working in neuroscience labs on campus had the chance to see the workings of labs at other schools, thanks to the Great Lakes Colleges Association Summer Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Seminars for Neuroscience Faculty and their Research Students.
Organized by Associate Professor of Psychology Amy Jo Stavnezer of College of Wooster and Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Yates of Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), the seminars saw neuroscience faculty members and their students from Oberlin, OWU, Wooster, Earlham, and Kenyon taking turns hosting the other groups, while demonstrating lab techniques and discussing work as a professional scientist. Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Tracie Paine and Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Siobhan Robinson, as well as the students working in their labs, both participated in the seminar, demonstrating techniques that they use in their research. The program concluded with a symposium in which students gave formal presentations of their work.
The students involved say it was a valuable experience. Julia Adelman, who works in Professor Robinson's lab, said the seminars gave her perspective on the field of neuroscience by exploring techniques that are not used in her lab. "These specific things are what we do all the time," she says, "so it was very nice to see the other areas of neuroscience." Adelman says that her favorite seminar took place at OWU, where Professor Yates demonstrated techniques used to study spinal cord injuries.
Nathan Swedlow, who works in Paine's lab, says the presentations were a valuable part of the experience. "It's a rare opportunity when you can talk to a large group of people about very specific elements of neuroscience," he says.