DEC. 9, 2005 | From cutting-edge research that could lead to new cancer treatments to a career in nutrition or genetic counseling, the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) introduced a wealth of possibilities at the recent Biomedical Sciences Career Day.
More than 100 graduate and undergraduate students from 13 schools across
For the fifth annual Career Day, representatives from all of the 13 graduate programs at UAMS filled a hallway in the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, ready to answer questions and find potential students.
“This yearly event has become a great chance to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the wealth of opportunities available through our programs,” said UAMS Graduate School Dean Robert McGehee, Ph.D. “Our affiliation with each of the colleges on the UAMS campus, along with the strong research and clinical operations, strengthens our programs and creates a powerful network of opportunities for graduate school students.”
The programs represented at career day included biochemistry and molecular biology, interdisciplinary biomedical sciences, interdisciplinary toxicology, microbiology and immunology, neurobiology and developmental sciences, pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, pharmaceutical sciences, nursing science, audiology and speech pathology, genetic counseling and occupational and environmental health clinical nutrition.
Representing the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was Kevin Raney, Ph.D. Raney also leads the Proteomics Facility at UAMS, where researchers use two mass spectrometers and robotic sampling equipment for preparation and analysis of proteins – looking for the “fingerprints” of disease in its earliest stages. Research programs at UAMS were on display, offering students the opportunity to use such high-tech tools and learn alongside leading scientists in their fields of expertise.
“All of the research supported by the proteomics facility has the potential to improve health,” Raney said. “Students in graduate school programs will have many opportunities to use this equipment and participate in potentially groundbreaking research.”
Other graduate programs could lead students on different career paths. Graduates from the master’s degree program in clinical nutrition might become part of the answer to the state’s well-documented weight problem, said Reza Hakkak, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition in the UAMS College of Health Related Professions, professor in the UAMS College of Public Health and an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine. In a variety of settings, clinical nutritionists use their knowledge of dietary needs as well as an understanding of the role nutrition plays in prevention and treatment of disease. Program graduates might work in hospitals or schools, performing research or managing food services programs in various community settings.
Shannon Barringer, a board-certified genetic counselor and chairman of the Department of Genetic Counseling at UAMS, answered questions from students about one of the campus’ newest graduate programs. Classes will start in January 2006 in the genetic counseling program, with UAMS acting as the lead institution in a consortium of schools in four states to train new counselors.
“I did hear from a number of interested students,” Barringer said. “This is a rapidly growing profession, so we’ve created a program to produce board-certified genetic counselors who can give families and patients knowledge that allows them to make better-informed medical decisions.”
The first career day focused on the basic science programs, McGehee said, but interest in all of the graduate programs has allowed the event to grow.
Speakers and topics at the event included Tim Lindblom, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at
Careers for nurses with graduate degrees were discussed by Alice Hill, R.N., Ph.D., a professor at the
There were presentations on science writing by Carol Torgan, Ph.D., and research compliance by Judith McDowall, founder, president and regulator affairs manager for Biotechnical Services Inc.
Undergraduate students at the event came from
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