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Science Up Close and Personal

Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The audience was spell-bound and eager to ask questions through the social media app (SocialQA) as three scientists, who benefitted from ARCS Oregon scholar awards, talked about their diverse areas of research at the "Recognizing Genius" luncheon on October 30th.  The panelists shared common struggles of the long path to a PhD, as well as concerns about the continued research questions that need to be answered globally.  Harriet Nembhard PhD, of the OSU College of Engineering, served as moderator and guided the discussion.

Hearing directly from the scholars gave the audience a glimpse of what inspired them to go into research and why it is important to support science.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to two cancer immunotheraphy researchers, a significant acknowledgement of the effect and importance of immunotherapy. That drives Tyler Hulett to learn more as he launches his cancer immunology career here in Oregon after earning his PhD from OHSU. He recently presented at a conference in Italy. 

The ability to rapidly sequence genomes that will impact future work in fertilization and sexual reproduction fascinates PhD candidate Katja Kasimatis. Her research at the University of Oregon with small worms can lead to insights to the basis of infertility. 

Nuclear energy has low greenhouse gas release, which is a global plus, but nuclear waste handling is expensive and the United States lags behind other countries in supporting it. Wade Marcum PhD, of Oregon State University’s College of Engineering, explained a few of the complexities in the future of nuclear energy.

Over 400 guests celebrated the Chapter's 70 current scholars.  The 23 first-year scholars will receive $6,000 a year for three years as they launch their PhD quests at OHSU, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. The third-year scholars shared their work to date during a Poster Session with guests at the Portland Art Museum.  

The luncheon is a significant source of fundraising for future scholar awards.  Since 2005, the Chapter has supported 248 scholars for over $4 million.