Sharing food, science, and community
In the spirit of togetherness, QBioS held our fist 'Summer Share' on June 4th. After a long hiatus from in-person activities, this was an opportunity to celebrate our community. The day was led off by talks from 2020 QBioS student award winners. Andreea Magalie told us about her work developing community within GT, and improving advisor-advisee relationships. Pedro Márquez-Zacarías gave a talk on the history of quantitative biosciences, focusing on the pioneering (but largely overlooked) contributions of Nicolas Rashevsky. Rogelio Rodriguez Gonzales gave a talk on his work examining the interaction of phage and antibiotics, Danny Lauer and Rozenn Pineau spoke about their work examining habitat stability in the US over the last several thousand years, and Joy Putney spoke about her work decoding the neurobiology of flight in hawk moths. Our newest QBioS faculty member, Prof. Hannah Choi, spoke about her exciting work deciphering forward and reverse neural feedbacks in the mouse brain. Finally, we had a deeply thoughtful and insightful talk by QBioS alumnus Dr. Alexander Bo Lee, who spoke about the challenges he faced in graduate school, and how the support of QBioS program faculty played a key role in the completion of his PhD. It was a moving talk that captured something essential about perseverance despite uncertainty that has salience not only for graduate school, but life more broadly.
After the talks, we had had an outdoor lunch, followed by lawn game battles, and drone pilot school thanks to Nolan English. We also worked through an impromptu biophysical problem set when a ladder ball (two balls connected by a rope) got tangled on a tree branch. The balls were wrapped with reverse chirality, so that pulling on either ball only served to tighten the wrap. Through teamwork and a star player (the very tall 1st year QBioS student Aaron Pfenning), we managed to get the ball free. We also had some nice QBioS SWAG: Pedro Márquez-Zacarías designed new QBioS shirts, and Prof. Ratcliff provided fresh honey from his apiary.