Masters reminds graduate students, faculty about the virtues of perseverance
This year's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Convocation featured a keynote address from Dr. Bettie Sue Masters, the Robert A. Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry in the department of biochemistry. She indicated that the National Institutes of Health's Center for Scientific Review is re-evaluating and redesigning the process of scientific peer review to make it even more effective, and she noted that the federal government is planning to increase support available for pre-doctoral trainees.
Dr. Masters also informed the students and postdoctoral fellows of their good fortune in having stipend and training support in preparation for their scientific careers, a privilege that few other professions can claim.
"Scientists perform research to satisfy curiosity, increase contributions to the bank of knowledge and even to become famous," she said. "Every discovery, however, involves thousands of hours of often monotonous and painstaking work. Months, even years, can pass without success."
Dr. Masters reminded the audience that this is an era in which we know more about the processes responsible for life than ever before, and "the products of (or fallout from) the Human Genome Project will consume our waking hours for many years to come."
Dr. Terry Mikiten, associate dean, said the GSBS enrolled 441 students this fall, including 225 in the basic sciences and 51 in special studies.
The Armand J. Guarino Award for Excellence in Doctoral Studies, named for the founding dean of the GSBS, was presented to Dr. Daniele Provenzano, a 2001 graduate who worked toward his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Karl Klose, microbiology. Dr. Provenzano made an important finding about vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera infection. Now a fellow at Harvard under Dr. John Mekalanos, he received $1,500 and a certificate and will be listed on a plaque displayed in the graduate dean's office.
The Armand J. Guarino Award for Excellence in Master of Science Studies went to W. Bryan Sims, who was mentored by Dr. Judith Longworth, a faculty member in family nursing care. He received $1,000, a certificate and plaque listing. Sims is a family nurse practitioner who has studied menopause and decisions about hormone replacement therapy. His wife, Valerie, accepted the award as Sims was serving with the U.S. Army near Seoul, South Korea.