GRADUATE RESEARCH RETREAT at Institute for Biogenesis Research announces awards

A dozen students presented their work at the first Developmental and Reproductive Biology (DRB) Graduate Program Students Retreat at the medical school’s Institute of Biogenesis Research (IBR). The students, (four PhD and eight MS candidates), presented work on some of the most fascinating topics in reproductive and developmental biology. The presentations covered infertility, gamete preservation and culture, sex determination, stem cells, transgenesis, regeneration, fertilization, embryo development, and assisted reproduction technologies.

Faculty from the IBR, Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Cell and Molecular Biology, Human Nutrition and Food and Animal Sciences departments were on hand for the retreat, on March 1 at the University of Hawai`i Mānoa campus. “The meeting was highly successful, with collegial atmosphere and vivid discussions,” said Dr. Monika Ward of the IBR, one of the retreat organizers. “The students’ presentations were top-notch, both in respect to power point presentation quality and their spoken delivery.”

Patricia Cooper, Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa said, “What a wonderful way to involve all of the faculty, follow along with what your students are doing, hone their communication skills and promote a sense of community amongst the students – all at once.”

Mariana Gerschenson, the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Director of Graduate Programs, noted that “the presentations were excellent and educational. The retreat encouraged interaction among faculty and students.”

Of course, excellence is something we have come to expect at the IBR–see more information below about the IBR’s distinguished standing in the field of reproductive biology research.

Awards presented

Judges awarded prizes (Barnes & Noble gift cards) to the following presenters:

Most Entertaining - Brent Fujimoto, 1st year PhD candidate (Tom Huphreys Lab)
Most Professional Victor Ruthig,  2nd year PhD candidate (Monika Ward Lab)
Most Elegant Presentation - Carolyn Higuchi, 2nd year MS (Yukiko Yamazaki Lab)
The Best All The Way Through - Jonathan Riel, 4th year PhD (Monika Ward Lab)

More information about the Retreat, including photos of all students, can be found at. http://www3.jabsom.hawaii.edu/Grad_DRB/retreat2013.html.

About the Institute for Biogenesis Research

The IBR was established in 1999 by the State of Hawai`i and UH Manoa in the John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Anatomy & Reproductive Biology, to continue the legacy of reproductive biology research pioneered by National Academy member Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi. Dr. Yanagimachi and his team produced major breakthroughs in reproductive biology, including the development of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the principles underlying in vitro fertilization (IVF) in mammals, the first demonstration of repetitive mammalian cloning, and ICSI-mediated transgenic (“glowing green”) mice. Through partnership with the JABSOM clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Pacific IVF Institute, the IBR supports translational projects designed to advance the science of reproduction and reduce infertility and birth defects for children through the latest molecular, cellular, and micro-techniques, many of which were developed at UH.

Mahalo to Associate Professor Dr. Monika Ward for contributing text and photos for this story.

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