Biology Graduate Student Association to Host 17th Annual Research Symposium Virtually | College of Science

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April 5, 2021

Biology Graduate Student Association to Host 17th Annual Research Symposium Virtually

The UNT Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) is pleased to announce they will be hosting their 17th Annual BGSA Research Symposium virtually on April 8-9, 2021. This event is held in spring each year for UNT students, faculty, staff, and members of the community. This free, two-day event includes student oral and poster presentations, networking events, seminars, and other fun activities. Awards are presented for best oral presentation and poster presentation.

"We are excited to showcase the research and scholarship being conducted by graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences and across the UNT research community," said Rachel Leads, UNT PhD student and BGSA President. "While this year's virtual format may feel different, we believe it is more important than ever to recognize the great work our graduate students have completed over the past year. We are also excited and grateful to be joined by scientists from across the country for our panel discussion and seminars at this year's virtual event."

This year's virtual BGSA Research Symposium format allows new opportunities for engaging with distinguished scientists from across the country. In the career panel taking place on April 8 from 12:30-1:30pm CST, scientists from different sectors including academia, government, medical sciences, and industry will share their knowledge about different career paths in the sciences. Students and postdocs will meet representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Tripler Army Medical Center, Union College, Abt Associates, and AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Questions can be submitted in advance and more information about the panelists can be found at

On April 9 from 12:30-1:30, the Symposium will feature a science communication seminar with Dr. Namrata Sengupta, Program Manager for Scientific Public Engagement at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The talk is titled, "What It Means to be a Science Communicator: From Part-Time Volunteering to a Full-Time Career," and will discuss key tools for effective science communication, different paths available to scientists, and career tips for students and trainees interested in science communication.

17th Annual BGSA Research Symposium Keynote

Dr. Martin Chalfie | GFP: Lighting Up Life | April 9, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. | Virtual format
"Yogi Berra once said, 'You can observe a lot by watching.' Unfortunately, before the early 1990s observations in the biological sciences were usually done on dead specimens that were specially prepared to allow entry of reagents that stained cell components. These methods allowed a glimpse of what cells were doing, but they gave a necessarily static view of life. GFP and other fluorescent proteins revolutionized the biological sciences because they allowed scientists to look at the inner workings of living cells. The story of the discovery and development of GFP also provides a very nice example of how scientific progress is often made: through accidental discoveries, the willingness to ignore previous assumptions, and the combined efforts of many people. The story of GFP also shows the importance of basic research on non-traditional organisms."

Register for the 17th Annual Research Symposium at Zoom information will be provided to all registered attendees prior to the event. Please email with any questions.

The Biology Graduate Student Association's Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium was established in 2003. The goals of the research symposium are to increase the visibility of scientific research at the University of North Texas; to provide graduate students with experience presenting scientific information; and to promote collaboration among faculty and students conducting research in the biological sciences.