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Scientific Journeys

Scientific Journeys is a video resource for aspiring scientists everywhere. Accomplished scientists reflect on their journey in science. 

Please share and enjoy! 

Dr. Maisie Dawes 

Maisie Dawes, DVM, PHD, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is an Assistant Professor at college of Wester University of Health Sciences, college of Veterinary Medicine. She is an alumna of Tuskegee University, where she pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences and her doctorate on Veterinary Medicine. An immunologist, her work focuses on innate immunity and role of lactoferrin in inflammatory responses.

Dr. Joseph Smith

Dr. Joseph D. Smith, Professor, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute,  Research Associate Professor, Department of Global Health, University of Washington. His lab studies the biology of the malaria parasite during the blood stage. The goal of the lab is to understand malaria disease mechanisms and to characterize critical parasite-host binding interactions. We use this knowledge to design vaccine or disease interventions.

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Dr. Barry Komisaruk

Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor; Associate Dean of the Graduate School 2006-2011; Adjunct Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Former Chairman, Rutgers University IRB. His research involves identifying the brain regions that respond to genital stimulation to generate orgasm in women and men, and the neural pathways by which genital stimulation gains access to the brain via the spinal cord and vagus nerves.

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Dr. Beverly A. Rzigalinski

Dr. Beverly A. Rzigalinski, Professor,  Pharmacology Department, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).  Her current research interests are Nano-biology of Aging, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Brain Inflammation.

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Dr. Greg Valdez

Dr. Gregorio Valdez, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carillon Research Institute. Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Science, Virginia Tech. Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carillon School of Medicine.  His lab is interested in discovering molecules that protect synapses from the ravages of aging and age-related neurological diseases. Synapses are the sites where information is received and transmitted throughout the central nervous system and between motor neurons and muscles.

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Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D.

Dr. Keith Yamamoto, Professor, Vice Chancellor, and Research Executive Vice Dean, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Yamamoto oversees strategic planning as well as research activities at UCSF’s school of medicine. After earning a PhD at Princeton, he came to UCSF in 1973. He served as chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology from 1994 to 2003. Dr. Yamamoto is regarded as an international leader in studying the mechanisms of signaling and gene regulation by intracellular receptors.

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Dr. Wayne Scales

Dr. Wayne Scales, Professor, in the Bradley Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech. His research interests include Computational Space Plasma Physics, Active Space Experiments, Dusty Plasma Physics.

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Dr. Emmitt Jolly

Dr. Emmitt R. Jolly, Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, is currently doing research in parasitic organisms.

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Dr. Mullarky

Dr. Mullarky is an associate professor and joined the department of Dairy Science at Virginia Tech in 2006. She is an immunologist focused on enhancing host immune responses to infections. Current research interests include enhancing the bovine immune response to Staphylococcus aureus infections, identification of targets and vaccine targets against S. aureus mastitis, and the study of S. aureus as a secondary infection during influenza outbreaks.

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Dr. Bevan

As an Associate Professor in Biochemistry, Dr. Bevan research is focused on molecular modeling as an approach to studying protein structure and function. He is studying the β-glucosidases, which are enzymes that occur in all living organisms. Although much is known about the mechanism of catalysis by β-glucosidases, there is virtually no information as to how β-glucosidases recognize and interact with their substrates. In this regard, his lab is applying computer-based molecular docking to understand better the subtle substrate specificity differences among β-glucosidases.

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Dr. Kennelly

Dr. Peter Kennelly is a Professor as well as Head of the Biochemistry department. Dr. Kennelly investigates the development of the mechanisms by which living organisms sense and respond to changes in their circumstances and surroundings.

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Dr. Bell

Dr. Martha Ann Bell is a Professor of Psychology interested in the developmental changes in brain-behavior relations during infancy and early childhood; developmental cognitive neuro-science (executive function, EEG, ECG); individual differences in development and integration of cognition and emotion in early development.

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Dr. Suagee

Dr. Jessica Kanekakenre Suagee is a Postdoctoral Associate at Virginia Tech focusing on Nutrition Physiology. She has recently accepted an position at Ohio State University.

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Dr. Ollendick

Dr. Tom Ollendick is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Child Study Center. His research and professional interests center upon clinical child and adolescent psychology, developmental psychopathology, cognitive behavior therapy, and social learning theory.

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Dr. Martha Munoz

Dr. Martha Muñoz (Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech) A new faculty in the Biological Sciences Department reflected in her journey from the 'Bronx" to "New Yorkian" to Harvard and now a tenure faculty with us at VT. She encouraged trainees to consider international research and how these opportunities helped her to determine her research interests. She consulted trainees to be mindful of colleges who are bringing drama to them and seek comfort in a community and relatives like she did during a challenging period of her journey.

Dr. Veronica Segarra

Veronica Segarra, Ph.D (Assistant Professor, High Point University) talked with us about how creativity, curiosity, and persistence helped her to complete her PhD and remain focused on her position as a PI at a predominately undergraduate institution (PUI). She advised IMSD/PREP/Carver scholars to "keep perspective of the big picture and be your own cheerleader" in order to recover from failures and continue on their journeys.

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Dr. Chad Dechow

Dr. Chad Dechow (Associate Professor, Penn State Univerisity). In this scientific journey video, he shares his passion for cattle and his journey to professorship at Penn State University. 

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