November 9, 2012
The School of Pharmacy and its National Center for Natural Products Research hosted a campus-wide research poster session Thursday to encourage discussion and collaboration in the university’s scientific community.
“Since completing our Research Visioning process, which served to identify our research strengths and target areas, highlighting our scientific enterprise has been a high priority for the School of Pharmacy,” said David D. Allen, the school’s dean. “This expanded poster session was an outcome of that process and a wonderful way to engage our students, faculty and research scientists about their current interests and projects.”
The posters were open for public viewing throughout the day in the Thad Cochran Research Center. The official session began at 2 p.m. and served as a forum for broad discussions about the poster presentations.
“The original purpose of initiating the poster session was to actively involve faculty and staff from the School of Pharmacy and other university departments were also invited to share and encourage collaboration in their research endeavors,” said Julie Mikell, coordinator of the event and principal research and development chemist. “We hoped this would facilitate greater cross-departmental communication and generate new and creative ideas.”
The poster session was the largest in the school’s history.
“The first session 16 years ago had less than 50 posters,” Mikell said. “We have grown to exhibiting 174 posters this year, the most ever. It’s great to see this kind of involvement from the SOP and all the other departments who have throughout the years been involved with this event.”
The session featured a number of special submissions. In addition to the presentation of individual projects, submissions were accumulated from entire departments, divisions and centers. These posters gave information about organizational research capabilities and aspirations.
In conjunction with the session, the local section of the American Chemical Society sponsored a graduate student competition. Participating students submitted a 300-word abstract of their proposed presentation and selected applicants were interviewed on the day of the poster session. Winners are to be announced.
Allen said that the event’s success speaks to the importance of research on UM’s campus.
“We are thrilled with the turnout for this year’s event,” he said. “There was a lot of participation from departments outside our school, which was a great opportunity for collaboration. It just goes to show that research is an integral part of the university’s mission. Every unit in the SOP presented at the session – a testament to the broad buy-in to our Research Visioning process. I am confident that the poster session will continue to grow in coming years.”