Society for Neuroscience holds poster symposium at DBI
Kristi Clark explains her research during the second annual neuroscience poster symposium.
Geentanjali Gera, at right, takes questions about her research during the symposium.
Pictured are poster winners, from left, Bong Sup Shim, Hunter Stitik, Chris Donnelly, Galen Missig, Louis Thibault and Li-Wei Chou.


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12:54 p.m., Dec. 16, 2009----The Delaware Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience held its second annual poster symposium for area researchers on Friday, Dec. 11, at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

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A total of 21 posters were presented by undergraduate and post-doctoral students from Delaware State University and undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students from the University of Delaware, some of whom work in the Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children laboratories.

The purpose of the symposium, which was attended by more than 60 people, was to bring together researchers in neuroscience and related areas from across the state in order to share current research efforts in the field, and to encourage future collaborations, according to Deni S. Galileo, associate professor of biological sciences at UD, who helped organize the event.

Others involved in planning the event were Jeffrey Rosen, professor of psychology at UD; Dr. Jeffrey Twiss, head of the Neuroscience Research Laboratory at Nemours/A.I. duPont and adjunct professor of biological sciences at UD; Melissa Harrington, associate professor of biology at Delaware State University, and Leonard Davis, chairperson of the Department of Biology at Delaware State University.

Galileo added that the symposium gave students a chance to showcase their lab work and polish their presentation skills, and gave faculty the chance to talk with students and colleagues and learn about the latest results from their labs.

Poster winners, all from the University of Delaware, were as follows:

Undergraduate student division: First, Galen Missig, a neuroscience and psychology major in the laboratory of Rosen; second, Louis Thibault, psychology major in the laboratory of James Hoffman, professor, and Matthew Doran, assistant professor, in UD's Department of Psychology.

Graduate student division: First, Christopher Donnelly, biological sciences graduate student in the laboratory of Twiss at Nemours/A.I. duPont; second, Hunter Stitik, biological sciences graduate student in the laboratory of Carolyn Schanen at Nemours/A.I. duPont.

Post-doctoral division: First, Bong Sup Shim in the laboratory of David Martin, chairperson of UD's Department of Materials Science and Engineering; second, Li-Wei Chou, who works with Christopher Knight, associate professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.

First prize in each category was a $75 gift card and second prize was a stuffed neuron.

Many of those attending said they found the event a great way to network and get ideas for further research.

"Tonight is a good opportunity to network for me. It gives me a chance to get to know people who are doing similar research to mine, and also allows me to get ideas about how to improve my research,” said Sarah Jablonski, a doctoral student in UD's Department of Psychology who is researching behavioral neuroscience. “Tonight is also good practice explaining my research to people not familiar with it."

"This event is a good platform for displaying our research because it's close to campus and you can spend time seeing everyone's poster and networking,” added Geetanjali Gera, a doctoral student in the College of Health Sciences who is studying in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program.

"The neuroscience poster symposium provides interaction you don't find anywhere else. It allows us, as researchers, to network with people conducting similar research and to possibly collaborate,” said Tayyaba Toseef, a graduate student at Delaware State University who is studying progesterone presence before birth. “You never know, but you may speak to someone who has a different take on your research that gives you an idea of another direction to take, and all of a sudden, a road block you were hitting becomes a problem solved."

"This is good experience presenting and making contacts in Delaware. It's a community-driven poster session that allows you to get new ideas and improve your research technique just by talking with other researchers,” said Cullen Owens, a graduate student in UD's Department of Psychology who is conducting research on learning and memory.

The Delaware Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (DESfN) is an affiliate of the Society for Neuroscience, a non-profit, professional organization.

Article by Laura Crozier and Neil Thomas
Photos by Evan Krape