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News & Press: SIT Newsletter

SIT Newsletter: September 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019  
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RRS Winter Workshop Registration
(Learn More)

October 25
Late/Online Registration for the Annual Meeting Ends

Assistant Project Data Scientist at Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS)
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
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Postdoctoral Fellow- Open Positions
Rice University Dept. of Bioengineering
Houston, TX
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Postdoctoral Fellow- Neurobiology/Developmental Biology
University of Texas
San Antonio, TX
More Information

Assistant Instructor- Biological Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
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Curriculum Fellow for Online Learning- Immunology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
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Scientist- Molecular Biology
10X Genomics
Pleasanton, CA
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Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX
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Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School
Newark, NJ
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Postdoctoral Position- Molecular Imaging and Therapy
University of California
San Francisco, CA
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Postdoctoral Position- Radiation Oncology
University of California
San Francisco, CA
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Assistant Instructor - Biological Sciences
BioSci Program Teaching Team at Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
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65th Annual RRS Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 3-6, 2019
SIT Workshop November 2, 2019
5th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection
Adelaide, Australia
November 19-21, 2019

RRS Workshop: Challenges & Solutions in the Era of Targeted Radionuclide-Based Therapy
Big Sky Resort, MT
Registration Open! GET INFO
Tien Tang- Biology

Jason Domogauer- Medicine
Nicholas Colangelo -Medicine/Biology
James McEvoy - Biology
Ryan Jonathan Wei - Medicine
Jade Moore- Multidisciplinary
Britta Langen- Biology
Brian Canter- Biology
Julie Constanzo- BioPhysics
Calvin Leung- Medicine/Biology
Rutul Patel- Pharmacology
Alexandra Taraboletti-Biology

Dear SIT Members,

Fall is officially here! For some, September represents the start of their graduate career, the final chapter of their graduate studies or a time to immerse themselves in their postdoctoral studies. For me September represents a time when my university’s campus comes back to life, bringing with it plenty of talks and seminars that I can use as an excuse to take a break from work (or score a free lunch!) and new opportunities to develop my non-scientific skills.
As researchers, we develop many technical skills that allow us to produce beautiful western blots, debug tricky sections of code and attend to all the needs of our insatiable cell cultures. However we often neglect other important less tangible skills, such as being an effective communicator. Being able to effectively communicate in writing, speaking and visual presentation enables us to share the important work we do with a wider audience, from our peers at a conference to our grandparents when they inevitably ask us why we’ve been in “school” for so long.

During the first year of my graduate studies my audience consisted primarily of my supervisor and lab mates who were all familiar with the jargon and terminology of my work. But as I progressed through my graduate studies, my audience grew. As I generated new results I found myself writing abstracts to be judged by those who may not be familiar with my field, presenting my research to colleagues who were not familiar with the methodology and giving academic presentations to audiences coming from a wide range of academic backgrounds. At first, when confused looks met my inability to concisely explain my results, I quickly learned how important effective communication was as I couldn’t help but feel the audience lose interest as I attempted to re-explain every last detail of my experiments to make sure they understood. But over time, I learned that effective communication is not hammering out every detail until the audience concedes you’re right, but rather to take them on the simplest path from your data to your conclusions without getting bogged down by all the ancillary details along the way unless they are critical to your central hypotheses and conclusions.

While I did not receive official training on developing effective communication skills in the lab, I took advantage of the workshops and seminars my school offered during the academic school year. Working with the editors at the writing center and having people outside my field edit my work has greatly helped me improve the clarity of my writing and presentations by helping me identify the message I’m trying to convey and develop strategies to convey that message clearly. As many institutions offer similar workshops, I would highly encourage everyone to attend these communication workshops at your (or a neighboring) institution if possible. A good researcher is no longer someone who is just capable of producing data, but also someone who is able to effectively communicate the content, context and relevance of their work. All research is incremental so if your work can’t be easily understood and improved upon by your colleagues, then no matter how great it might be, it won’t have a great impact.

For those who prefer digital content here are some online resources I found to be helpful:

AAAS Communication Toolkit
ComSciCon (find one near you!)
Poster Design

Happy communicating!

SIT Committee Chair

We are also on Facebook! Check out the SIT Facebook group.
Presenting the RRS Winter Workshop to be held over the dates of March 4-6, 2020 in Big Sky, MT. The workshop, titled “Challenges & Solutions in the Era of Targeted Radionuclide-Based Therapy,” will be held at Big Sky Resort. Workshop Chairs, Jan P. Schuemann and Rebecca Abergel have generated an exciting program that brings together well-established experts and exciting new investigators in the field of tumor metabolism. Submitted abstracts will be blindly judged to allow for selection of 8 additional speakers.

Who Should Attend
This workshop is intended to bring together basic science researchers working in tumor metabolism, radiobiologists, radiologists and radiation oncologists to explore the interface between tumor metabolism and the response to radiotherapy.

Program Emphasis
The workshop format will allow for networking, collaboration and scientific discussions to promote addressing the Achilles heel of tumor-specific metabolic alterations as a means to improve radiotherapy efficacy. Both pre-clinical and clinical studies will be discussed with an emphasis on bench to bedside approaches.

Please consider including Big Sky, Montana in your 2020 conference plans. We invite you to contribute your latest research to this meeting and help make it a truly memorable and interactive event at the forefront of radiation sciences.

On August 30, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a list of priorities for the Research and Development Budget of the United States federal government for fiscal year 2021. The document is more detailed than the fiscal year 2020 research and development priority list. One major reason for this is the presence of Kelvin Droegemeier, who was confirmed earlier this year to be the director of OSTP.

Of note to our RRS community is the high priority crosscutting action item number four titled “American Health & Bioeconomic Innovation.” Under this action is a subpriority listed as the “Bioeconomy” that seeks to harness technology and data from biological processes to promote economic growth, public well being, and health. Our community can provide input into the guiding values and principles that the federal government will support in the US Bioeconomy through commenting in the Federal Register. The comment period closes October 22.

Lastly, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Servies, Education and Related Agencies Committee released their fiscal year 2020 funding bill. In the bill report the National Institutes of Health would receive a 7% increase of $3 billion for a total operating budget of $42 billion. This is a $1 billion increase in comparison to the House of Representatives appropriations bill that passed a full vote in June. Ultimately it does not look like a budget deal will be done by the deadline of September 30. Accordingly, the House of Represenatives has already passed a short term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. It does seem likely that the NIH will see another budget increase for fiscal year 2020.

I would encourage you all to put a face and name behind radiation research by reaching out to your municipal, state and federal government offices. If you want a particular topic or issue addressed in this section, please feel free to reach out to Brian Canter via email at!

Tang, T.T., Zawaski, J.A., Francis, K.N., Qutub, A.A. and Gaber, M.W., 2019. Image-based Classification of Tumor Type and Growth Rate using Machine Learning: a preclinical study. Scientific Reports, 9(1), pp.1-10.

Do you know of any SIT publications? Please let us know!
2020 Non-RRS Meeting Support
Application Deadline: October 25, 2019

AAUW Fellowship Dissertation
Application Deadline: November 1, 2019

ALSF Innovation Grants Relevant to Childhood Cancer
Application Deadline: November 4, 2019

ALSF Childhood Cancer Epidemiology Research Grants: Young Investigator Grants
Application Deadline: December 16, 2019

Burroughs Welcome Awards
Application Deadline: Open

Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

Application Deadline: Open

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung/Foundation
Application Deadline: Open
Antibodies Travel Grants Program
Application Deadline: Quarterly
ASTRO Funding Opportunities
ASTRO funds research in radiation biology, cancer biology and radiation physics. Funding opportunities are available for junior faculty and residents.

Proposal Central
Database of foundation, non-profits and organizations grants
Do you know of any other funding sources? Please let us know! 
Audrey Rinehart, Association Manager 
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