The keynote addresses for the 2012 conference were given by Professor Lene Hau (Physics and Applied Physics), Professor Melissa Franklin (Physics), and Professor Douglas Melton (Harvard Stem Cell Institute / Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology).

Professor Lene Hau’s talk was titled, “The Art of Taming Light.” Professor Hau talked about slowing down light pulses and even extinguishing a light pulse in one part of space and reviving it in a completely different location. Professor Melissa Franklin’s talk was titled, “A Lab of One’s Own.” Professor Franklin talked about her own research in physics but also talked about the research experience in general, which students found engaging and entertaining. Professor Douglas Melton’s talk was titled, “The Biology of Regenerative Medicine – A Path to Longer and Healthier Lives.” Professor Melton presented very interesting research on stem cells and regenerative medicine, with interesting applications to the concept of healthy aging. In conclusion, the keynote speakers introduced exciting topics in their fields of research and conveyed their passion for research.

NCRC 2012 Workshops

Advancements in Interdisciplinary Research

The purpose of this panel was to expose students to advancements in interdisciplinary research and to provide a perspective on interdisciplinary research. The panel also discussed the importance of interdisciplinary research as well as the potential challenges facing it. The panelists were Professor Gregory Verdine (Biochemistry) and Professor Mara Prentiss (Biophysics).


Working in Industry

The purpose of this panel was to provide information and personal perspectives on working in the field of industry. Many students face the decision of pursuing industry or academia as a career but do not necessarily know what it is like to work in either field. The panelists were Professor Federico Capasso (Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard), Dr. Fawwaz Habbal (Executive Dean of Harvard SEAS), Dr. Scott Biller (Chief Scientific Officer of Agios Pharmaceuticals), Will Smiley (Associate Director of College and Staffing Programs at Genentech), and Dr. Martin Poitzsch (Research Director for Sensor Physics at SDR).

What can I expect in Grad School?

The purpose of this panel was to provide information and personal perspectives on the admissions process, the graduate student lifestyle, and ways to prepare for graduate school as an undergraduate student. The panelists were Dr. Cherry Murray (Dean of Harvard SEAS), Dr. John McNally (Assistant Dean of Harvard GSAS), Dr. Marcos Sotomayer (Post-doctoral fellow in Department of Neurobiology), John McGee (4th year graduate student in Chemistry and Chemical Biology), and Katherine Rogers (4th year graduate student in Molecular and Cellular Biology).

The Realities of a Scientist’s Work-Life Balance

The purpose of this panel was to explore the work-life balance as a scientist, providing various perspectives on managing a career while maintaining a healthy family life. The panelists were Dr. Susan Mango (Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology), Dr. David Harrington (Professor of Biostatistics), and Dr. Ann Georgi (Undergraduate Research Advisor for Life Sciences).

NIH Research Opportunities for Undergraduates and Early-Stage Grad Students

This workshop was organized in coordination with OURI. The NIH provides many opportunities for young scientists to build up their careers. The session highlighted the summer internship and post-baccalaureate programs, including tips for developing a successful application. This workshop was led by Dr. Lori Conlan, the NIH Director of the Office for Postdoctoral Services.

NCRC 2012 Panels


Panel on Diversity in Research

As campuses and institutions become increasingly multicultural and multiethnic, the issue of diversity presents itself as a reality and challenge for researchers of all backgrounds today. What does it mean to be a minority in a field historically dominated by people from another culture? What does diversity bring to the table? How can the perspectives that come from different backgrounds work together towards a common goal in the field, in the laboratory, or in the classroom?

The panel on Diversity in Research was led by Dr. Robert Lue, the Director of Life Sciences Education, whose work in education has enabled him to engage in the issue of diversity on many fronts. The panelists were Dr. Tamara Brenner (Associate Director of Life Sciences Education), Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo (Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity), and Dr. Scott Edwards (Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology).

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