GBS Symposium: Call for Posters

The GBS Symposium will take place this year on Thursday, April 20th. Each year, GBS will showcase the research of graduate students in BIMS, Biology, and Chemistry in a lunchtime poster session. This year, in addition to research being done in UVA labs, they are also including presentations describing various experiences or cool projects you are working on (ex: internships, consulting projects with companies outside of UVA, etc). Are you interested in presenting your research? GBS is currently accepting poster submissions for this poster session! The poster session will run from 12-1:30, with lunch provided. Faculty judges will adjudicate the posters, and awards will be given to the top three presentations. Posters may be full sized (no wider than 48 inches) or printed panels. We highly encourage everyone to consider signing up. Click here to access the form.

Please send in your poster submission by Thursday, April 6th.

Support Sarah Gray at GBS Symposium on April 20th

The Pharmacology Department would like to congratulate Sarah Gray(Eugene Barrett’s Lab) for receiving the 2017 Pharmacology Outstanding Graduate Student and Robert Haynes Award!  This award recognizes a graduate student who shows exemplary scientific merit and productivity. The winner of this award is nominated for the Michael J. Peach Award and the Jill Hungerford Prize, both of which are presented at the annual GBS Symposium.

Please go out and support Ms. Gray at the GBS Symposium on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

New discovery of “Type 2 innate lymphocytes” in the Meninges

Jony Kipnis, Chair of Neuroscience and PSTG preceptor and researcher Sachin Gadini was featured in the article “Unknown Solders: UVA Discovers Powerful Defenders of the Brain,” of UVA Today for his lab’s discovery last year that the brain and immune system are directly connected via vessels long thought not to exist.

The Pharmacology Department would like to congratulate Dr. Kipnis and his lab for the discovery of this unexpected link and, as UVA Today put it “game-changing” accomplishment!



Watch Sarah bolt through her thesis in < 3min!

Guess who’s a BIMS Finalist in the UVA 3MT Competition on March 1? You Guess it- Sarah Gray! Lets cheer her on as she bolts through this completion like she bolted through the C’ville 10-Miller!

Sarah Gray (Pharmacology), Kathryn Kingsmore (BME), and Kelley Virgilio (BME) are among the 8 finalists for the 5th Annual UVA Three Minute Thesis Competition.  They were selected from 40 PhD candidates representing 5 UVA schools who competed in the preliminary competition.

The Pharmacology Department had two winners of the UVA 3MT Competition in previous years; Eric Greenwald (Jeff Saucerman’s lab) was the 2014 Audience Choice Winner for his video “Scaffold Proteins: (un)leashing efficient communication” and Lindsey Brinton (Kimberly Kelley’s lab) was the 2013 Competition Winner for her video “Catching Tumors in Their Webs.”

This year’s finalists will compete next Wednesday (March 1) from 3-4PM in the auditorium of the Special Collections Library (Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library).  The competition will be followed by a brief reception and awards ceremony.

Everyone is welcome, so please go out and attend this event to support Sarah “Cville 10-Miller” Gray  in this challenge!

The UVa Bioscience Scientific Photo Competition is Back! The deadline for submission is Friday, April 14th!

Last year the Graduate Biosciences Society hosted their first Student Image Competition. Due to its success and popularity, they are bringing it back! In an effort to showcase the scientific creativity and artistic eyes of the students, the winning pieces will be printed and put on display in the Biomedical Education Classroom. These entries may be as creative as you choose – from original productions to creative presentation of data, microscopy, and beyond. If you’re looking for inspiration, look here! Or perhaps check out last years’ winners (on the left)!


The competition is open to all students and entries will be judged anonymously by peers and faculty at the GBS Symposium on Thursday, April 20th. The deadline for submission is Friday, April 14th!


Contact Molly Kelly-Goss ( for more information.

Huskey Research Exhibition Abstracts are due on February 24, 2017!

The Huskey Organizing Committee is still accepting abstracts for the 2017 Huskey Research Exhibition. Time is limited: the call for abstracts will close on February 24th. Funding is available for poster printing, so it’s best to apply as soon as possible.  Don’t miss this opportunity to compete for cash prizes! More information about the exhibition is located on the Graduate Student Council website. A direct link to the abstract submission/application page is located here.

If you have any questions, please email


Member Spotlight: Irina Bochkis

We’re excited to introduce a new Member Spotlight Series, where we’ll highlight members of the department so you can get to know them better. We’re (mostly) scrapping the CVs and science and getting down to the things you really care about. Last month, the Pharmacology Department welcomed a new Assistant Professor, Irina Bochkis. She “volunteered” to be our debut spotlight. So, without further ado, we present: Irina Bochkis (whose web page is currently under construction…she’s that new)!

Irina Bochkis, PhDQuickly, what does your research focus on?

My lab employs both experimental and computational methods to understand regulation of metabolism. We investigate genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying metabolic disease.

Do you have any open positions in your lab?

I’m looking for a lab technician and a postdoc with computational skills for analysis of next-generation sequencing data.

Are you accepting grad students for rotations?

Yes, I am interested in getting students


College Basketball (big UNC fan, happy to be back in ACC country), SciFi (Star Trek, X-files)


Zumba, Yoga


Still miss my parents’/family dog.

Dark or Milk Chocolate?

Dark, most definintely!

Crunchy or Soft Tacos?

No preference…actually, fajitas over tacos.

Cake or Pie?

Depends on if chocolate is involved…

Walk, Bike, or Run?


What kind of music do you like?

I listen to Russian Pop a lot.

Are you a bigger prankster than Bimal and/or Mark?

Not sure, probably not.

Favorite thing to do in C’ville?

Still settling in — walking around the lake in my neighborhood.

Something fun and personable you wish I asked but didn’t?

This stumps people: I can say that my mom is Asian, and I am half-Asian. That is actually a technicality. She was born in Siberia, so in Asia. But obviously she’s European 🙂

Concerned About the Executive Order on Immigration?

Earlier this week, UVA President Teresa Sullivan and Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas issued a statement addressing immigration issues. The statement came as a response to an executive order issued last week by the White House; the order prohibits people from seven countries from entering the United States. The statement by Sullivan and Katsouleas informed the University community that the University has “…communicated individually with UVA’s students and scholars who are from the seven countries affected by the executive order and advised them not to travel abroad until we know more about the specific practices that will be implemented as a result of the executive order.” The statement also directed international students, scholars, or other community members with concerns to consult UVA’s International Studies Office.

Senior Associate Dean for Education and Wilford W. Spradlin Professor Randy Canterbury issued an invitation to students in the School of Medicine and BIMS to attend a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 12 noon in the Learning Studio of the Claude Moore Medical Education Building to discuss the impact of the executive order. SOM is providing pizza and drinks.

2017 GBS Career Panel: March 9

The Graduate Biosciences Society (GBS) invites graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to attend the 2017 Graduate Biosciences Society Career Panel  on Thursday, March 9th in the Claude Moore Medical Education Building Auditorium (MEB Room 3110). The event will take place in the late afternoon and will be followed by an informal reception where you can meet the panelists.

Many of the featured panelists are UVA BIMS alumni, and they come from a range of career paths. This is a great opportunity to have your questions answered and explore how you can apply your PhD! Please RSVP to secure a spot and refreshments using this google form. GBS will release more details soon — stay tuned to the GBS list-serve.

Questions? Contact Alex Keller, ASK3MFGBS Professional Committee Chair

Wahoo Fitness Challenge Reminder

The 2017 Wahoo Fitness Challenge began on January 17 and runs through April 28. Log your steps to earn $200 in your July 2017 paycheck! If you created an account last year in My Active Health Portal, your login credentials still work. If you haven’t set up an account with My Active Health yet, you need to do that first. Then, you can either sync one of the approved fitness devices to your account or log your workouts manually. Log 52 workouts between now and April 28, and receive $200 — easy!

All active UVA employees and their spouses covered under the UVA Health Plan are eligible to participate and earn $200 each for completing 52 workouts during the challenge time frame.

See the Wahoo Fitness Challenge FAQ for more info — and sign up today to get started on earning your 2017 HoosWell Rewards! HoosWell just released the 2017 HoosWell Class Offerings …if you’re looking for ideas on easy ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine, check it out!