Our contributions to this history includes 14 and 20 years of successful implementations of IMSD and PREP, respectively. Selected highlights of these contributions, as "throwback images," are included in this edition of VT PRIME. 
Participants in the 2022 PREP/IMSD Carver "Moving in Boot Camp." First row, center, the recently retired Dr. Randy Grayson, Professor emeritus, Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science, the former director of Carver, who laid the foundation for URM recruiting and training at Virginia Tech. Also in that row, first from right, is Dr. Chevon Thorpe, PREP alum, Assistant Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Collegiate Assistant professor, Biochemistry, the new director of Carver.  
With degree completions that Include 89 PhDs, 32 MS, 3 MDs, and 3 other professional degrees, our [Culturally Aware Research Education] efforts continue to impact graduate education and research training in and out of VT. Read More
Welcome to the Fall edition of VT PRIME: The Electronic Quarterly Newsletter of the "PREP/IMSD Family" at Virginia Tech. 
Please email feedback/comments about the newsletter to vtprep@vt.edu.
As the pandemic wanes, Fall, 2022 is looking promising for our "usual" VT PREP/IMSD "networking events." Thus, with some confidence, we will see you at SACNAS and ABRCMS, Yay!! In this long overdue edition of VT Prime, in addition to our regular updates about our trainees, alumni, and friends, we "Introduce scholars in our 20th PREP cohort," tell you about recent talks by our alumni in our "Biweekly forums," as well as about upcoming presentations.
To learn more about us and the "PREP/IMSD family," please visit us at our Facebook page and websites: PREP and IMSD.
Message from the Directors 
As the pandemic wanes, and we begin to more fully engage with our “family,” we are excited about our future contributions to the local and national efforts to diversify the Biomedical Research and STEM. Read More
Introducing Our New Scholars 
PREP 20 This transition year, the last year of our 4th 5-year cycle, diverse in their research disciplines of interest, geographic origin, and demographics. Following mini lab-rotations, these scholars have started their research. 

Hallie Frances Avalos: B.S, Biology, College of William and Mary. Lab rotations with Drs. Ann Stevens, Lijuan Yuan, and Bryan Hsu. Hallie decided to continue her research traineeship with Dr. Bryan Hsu

Matthew Silva: B.S, Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University. Lab rotations with Drs. Jungmeen Kim-Spoon and Lee Cooper. Matthew decided to pursue his research traineeship with Dr. Lee Cooper. 

Carter Palen: B.S, Microbiology with Minors in Chemistry and Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech. Lab rotations with Drs. Kylene Kehn-Hall, and Daniel Slade

Amber Amaral-Torres: B.S, Biochemistry, Christopher Newport University. Lab rotations with Drs. Daniel Capelluto and Amy Pruden. Amber decided to continue her research traineeship with Dr. Amy Pruden
PREP19 Updates
"What became of the PREP19"Besties?": Nicknamed "Besties" because of their attention to selfcare and to each other. Hopefully, as the group photo below shows, theirs is our last masked cohort: 
Our last masked cohort thrived in the face of the continuing challenges of the pandemic to have a successful PREP year. 
Recent PREP Alumni Degree Completions

Chelsee Holloway, PREP alum (12th cohort, PREP Advisor: Rebecca Cockrum), defended her dissertation at Rutgers University.

Cassie Eng, PREP alum (13th cohort, PREP Advisor: Martha Ann Bell), defended her dissertation at Carnegie Mellon University in Developmental Psychology. 

Deon Brown, PREP alum (15th cohort, PREP Advisor: Julie Dunsmore), completed his PhD in Development Psychology at VCU. 

Dominique Munson, PREP alum (15th cohort, PREP mentor: Caroline Leeth), defended her dissertation at UNC. 
Alumni Awards and New Positions: 
our alumni continue to be impactful in their careers and we have been lucky to still connect with a lot of them, allowing us to learn about their accomplishments. 

Recent Awards and Accomplishments

Van Troung, PREP alum (15th Cohort, research mentor: Dr. Bryan Lewis), and currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was one of 35 other fellows from around the world awarded the 2022 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.

Albert Hinman, IMSD prebac alum, (research mentor: Dr. Daniela Cimini), Stanford PhD, started a new fellowship as a Genetics and Public Policy Fellow cosponsored by the The American Society of Human Genetics and the National Human Genome Resource Institute.

Tristan Hayes, IMSD alum (4th cohort, research mentor: Dr. Chris Lawrence), VT PhD, Computational Immunology, started as a Research Scientist at Charles River Laboratories.

Dr. Trevin Glasgow, IMSD alum (8th cohort, research mentor: Dr. E. Scott Geller), VT PhD, currently an HIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA), currently postdoc at VCU and will be heading to UVA as assistant professor. 

Timothy Lipuma, PREP alum (18th cohort, research mentor: Dr. Georgia Hodes), started his Ph.D. at IUPUI after a transition stop in Ireland at the University of Cork for the MS.

Jason Putnam, PREP alum (18th cohort, research mentor: Dr. Matt Buczynski), previously at Vanderbilt University as a Research Assistant, started his PhD at the University of Maryland in Neuroscience.
Recent VT Alumni and Friends Sightings
Two VT PREP alumni, Drs. Leah Guthrie and Cassie Eng, from different cohorts, caught up with each other in Palo Alto, where they are both postdocs. 

Dr. Vidhya Sivakumaran stopped by for the 2022 Biochemistry Department's Engelpalooza, shown here with a member of PREP/IMSD leadership team Dr. Zac Mackey.

Dr. Albert Hinman, IMSD prebac alum, Standford PHD, and Van Troung, PREP alum at the 2022 American Society for Humans Genetic meeting in LA.

Chastyn Smith, PREP alum,(research mentor: Ann Stevens), VCU PhD candidate, and Dr. Mackey at Southern Regional Education Board conference in Atlanta.
At a Recent BMES Conference in San Antonio,
Two PREP alumni from two different cohorts affiliated with STRETCH Lab caught up with their "relatives" from VT. 

Jose Monclova, PREP17, now in Biomedical Engineering at Pen State, with his PREP research training mentor, Dr. Raffaella De Vita
Talia Baddour, PREP18, now at UCSD in the Biomedical Engineering program is shown here with Kandace Donaldson, VT PhD candidate, current IMSD scholar (10th cohort).
At SACNAS in San Juan, we had a few sightings of our relatives and friends. 

Celebrating the annual VT at SACNAS dinner: in the foreground is Dr. Judy Thomson Marshall, and PREP-affiliated Carver scholar Manatte. Also at this dinner was Dr. Kacie Adams and her students.
Not at the dinner but were sighted at the conference were PREP alumni Tasmine Clement and Dr. Brittany Taylor

Dr. Cimini along with Drs. Achenie and Jody Thompson Marshall. IMSD scholar, Jeff Anderson, is in the foreground.
Update from our Fall Bi-weekly Forum
On Oct. 20th, 2022
1. What can you do with your PhD in industry? 
Dr. Rebecca Ortiz Marty, VT PhD, IMSD alum, currently Quality Control Manager for External Operations at Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., told us about the value a PhD has in established bio company or a start up distinct advantage of both. More important we learned that in industry you may have the opportunity to collaborate with engineers to improve a lab equipment that you may have used for your dissertation. 
On Oct 6th, 2022 
Dr. Brittany Boribong, VT PhD, IMSD alum, GBCB, currently Postdoc Research Fellow at Harvard's Massachusetts, told us about contribution she continues to Biomedical research including her exciting research about Covid-19 in Children.  
On Oct. 20th, 2022
3. Dissertation Research Progress Update
Krisangel Lopez, PhD Candidate, HHMI Gilliam Fellow, Department of Entomology, stopped by to speak to our trainees about her journey and her exciting research about migration birds as potential vectors. She especially highlighted the components of her journey and research that formed the basis of her 2022 Gilliam Award only the second of this prestige's honor of Virginia Tech. 
Postcards from recent scientific meetings attended by our current scholars. 

IMSD scholars Matthew Flores and Mariah Rojas were at the American Society for Microbiology conference. 

Matthew Flores, VT PhD Candidate, IMSD scholar (advisor: David Popham), attended several meetings in the summer including the 21st International Conference on Bacilli and Gram-Positivie Bacteria in Prague.

Julio Arroyo, VT PhD student, IMSD (14th cohort research mentor: Rafael Davalos), presented at the BMES annual meeting. 

Demisha Porter, IMSD predoc, PhD candidate, TBMH, (research mentor: Paul Morton), attended 2022 CoNNExINS (Colloquium at NYU for Networking: Extramural for Invited Neuroscience Students).
With funding from NSF, Jeff Anderson, IMSD scholar, (research mentor: Jake Socha), went to Brunei for 3 months to study the perch locomotory and prey-handling behaviors in arboreal colubrids.
Upcoming Events Meetings, Conferences and our forums that are of maybe interest to our community
November 3    Bi-Weekly Forum
Diana Novo, PhD Candidate, Chemistry (advisor: Kevin Edgar), VT IMSD Scholar, Dissertation Research Progress Update.  
Jamelle Simmons, IMSD alum (6th cohort), VT PhD, Biomedical Engineering (advisor: Yong Lee and Luke  Achenie), IRACDA fellow, Postdoctoral Research Progress Update.

November 9 - 12
ABRCMS we hope you will join us for our annual VT @ABRCMS celebration. 

November 17   Bi-Weekly Forum 
Lara Dahora, VT IMSD Scholar (7th Cohort), (advisor: Chris Thomson), Dissertation Research Progress Update. 
Mariah Rojas
VT IMSD Scholar (12th cohort), (advisor: Boris Vinatzer), Dissertation Research Progress Update.

November 21 -  26
Thanksgiving Week

December 7 

Please save the date: we hope you will join us (venue to be determined) for our annual
End of Academic Year Celebration.

The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Natalia Gonzales, PREP alum (7th cohort, research training advisor Dana Hawley), F31 awardee, The University of Chicago PhD, Human Genetics, 
Reflections: What Can You Do With Your PhD?
#throwbackVTIMSD/PREP: A new feature of PRIME/IMSD over the years.

The group photo above is a throwback to that time when our colleagues at Duke hosted the Mid Atlantic PREP/IMSD research symposium. Virginia Tech is looking forward to hosting the 10th MAPRS, in May 2023, in Blacksburg.

As the pandemic wanes, our scholars will again begin to  enjoy beautiful Blacksburg and VT like those before them, including PREP 9 at the Duck Pond, VT landmark shown above. 
Articles/books and podcasts we hope you'll find useful.
An article that we think you will enjoy or find useful: Maintaining Inclusion in Engineering in a Post-Dobbs World, the authors include Dr. Jenniffer S. Wayne who previously spoke on this issue as part of a panel that included our own Dr. Andrea Rolong
Episode 2 Changing The Police part of the series from NPRs Embedded
Police hiring and retaining a diverse police force requires a diverse police leadership not just an aspiration for a diversify. Academic diversity will be enhanced if there is diversity in leadership. 
Copyright © 2022 VT PRIME, All rights reserved.
This edition of VT PRIME was edited by: Bruno Ramaj, Judy Yan, and Dr. Ed Smith

Institutional Partners include The Office of The ProvostFralin Life Sciences Institute, The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and The School of Animal Sciences

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Phone: (540) 231-6797
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