Doctoral candidate Erin Edwards earns honorable mention at Wayne State event

A version of this story originally appeared on the School of Medicine website.

Erin Edwards
Erin Edwards

The impressive research efforts of more than 100 graduate students from Wayne State University were spotlighted at the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s annual Chuan-Pu Lee, Ph.D., Endowed Graduate Student Research Presentation Day, held Oct. 18 throughout Scott Hall and the Margherio Family Conference Center.

At the event, Ph.D. student Erin Edwards received an honorable mention for her poster presentation, "Backward Walking as a Clinical Tool to Detect Fall Risk in Multiple Sclerosis." Edwards is a researcher in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Neuroimaging and Neurorehabilitation Lab under the direction of Assistant Professor Nora Fritz.

The student-organized event is in its 22nd year of showcasing the diverse biomedical research of graduate students at the School of Medicine and from other schools and colleges at WSU.

The event provides a platform for graduate students to present their work to WSU research faculty and students, encourages interdepartmental collaborations and gives financial support for students to present their work at national and international conferences and in turn showcase the outstanding research being conducted at the university. This year, 105 graduate students presented 15 oral presentations and 90 poster presentations.

“The committee was very pleased with this year’s outcome of graduate student presenters from across Wayne State University,” said chair Sophia Chaudhry, a fourth-year doctoral student in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. “Support from graduate students and faculty members on the medical campus is always strong and was well-represented as attendees, presenters or judges. We were especially proud to see a larger number of graduate students from main campus, including biological sciences, chemistry, physics and mathematics. In the coming years, GSRPD will continue to incorporate as many STEM graduate students.”

The event is supported by a generous gift from Dr. Lee, who died in 2016. The endowed funds provide awards and prizes. Dr. Lee retired in 2011 after 36 years on the School of Medicine faculty. She later served as an advisor for the then-Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She was a strong advocate for WSU graduate students, offering pre- and post-doctoral travel awards to help offset the cost of national and international conferences.

More than 80 faculty members from both the medical and main campus volunteered to judge the student presentations.

“Allowing graduate students to showcase their work in one place for a single day opens the door to future collaborations. Dr. C.P. Lee was one of the driving forces behind the support for GSRPD,” Chaudhry said.

The 2018 organizing committee also included Hasini Kalpage, Chaitali Anand, Rayanne Burl, Allison Mitchell, Jonathan Greenberg, Ekta Shah, Danielle Meyer, Ruta Jog, Matthew Fountain, Stephanie Gladyck and Jordan Zhou.

The event included a keynote address from David Ginsburg, M.D., a James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine, a member of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Ginsburg's laboratory studies the components of the blood-clotting system and how disturbances in their function lead to human bleeding and blood-clotting disorders.

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