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The 2019 RDM symposium earlier this month brought together more than 300 RDM staff and students together, with over 50 posters and stands. 

Our poster judges had a tough job, but after much discussion, the poster prizes went to:

Martyna_RDM_Annual_Symposium_by_John_Cairns_14.3.19257.jpgIn the Student category, Martyna Lukosevicuite (pictured left: from the Sauka-Spengler lab) for her poster on “The Two-Faced foxd3 and its Roles in Neural Crest Chromatin Remodelling”.

Maryam_RDM_Annual_Symposium_by_John_Cairns_14.3.19258.jpgThe runner up was Maryam Alsharqi (on right; from the Leeson lab), for her work entitled "Predicting Adverse Responses to Physical Activity in Young Adults with Suboptimal Blood Pressure". 

Louise_RDM_Annual_Symposium_by_John_Cairns_14.3.19260.jpgIn the Non-student category, Louise Johnson (pictured left; from the Jackson lab) for her poster entitled "Regulation of dendritic cell trafficking in lymphatics by hyaluronan and its receptors LYVE-1 and CD44".

The runner up was Angela Lee (from the Bhattacharya lab) for her poster entitled "A novel disulfide-bonded scaffold that directs the CXC-chemokine binding specificity of tick salivary evasins"


The symposium also recognised the winners of the RDM Excellent Supervision Award. All of nominations submitted to the award panel highlighted the excellent academic supervision currently being undertaken in RDM, but it was the excellent pastoral care provided by by our winners, Professor Leanne Hodson and Associate Professor Jim Hughes, which particularly impressed the panel.  

Leanne Hodson (pictured on right in main picture, receiving her award from Head of RDM, Professor Hugh Watkins) was nominated by someone from outside of her lab and who is also not formally mentored by her, demonstrating to the panel the extensive reach of her support. Her nomination describes her as an "invaluable support line, always offering advice that is honest and productive; she does not shy away from difficult conversations; and she actively pursues solutions with people who approach her."

Jim_RDM_Annual_Symposium_by_John_Cairns_14.3.19261.jpgJim Hughes (pictured right) was nominated by an impressive 16 past and present members of his lab. His nominees described him as "an inspiring scientist and mentor who appreciates his team’s preferences and capabilities", and commented on how he fosters and builds self-confidence; his sensitivity to personal circumstances and the well-being of his team; and his approachability that extends beyond his group and to students across the institute. Here is a selection of some of the comments about Jim by the people who nominated him:

  • "Although I left his lab to do a PhD in a different field, Jim is always approachable for a chat and advice"
  • “I decided that leaving academia and pursuing an industry career path was for me and he fully supported me and spoke through my options with me when I was making my decision”

Many congratulations to all of our winners, and we look forward to next year's symposium. 

Photo credit for all photos: John Cairn. 

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