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Communication Skills and Professional Development Forum

This monthly forum offers students a chance to discuss current topics on the biomedical field.  Students attend and participate in their first two years and are expected to present and lead during their later years. Dr. Anne Dorrance leads this forum


IPSTP Journal Club

This monthly forum is entirely student-run and focuses on drug discovery and in vivo pharmacology literature. Students pick approved papers ahead of time and discuss them together. 


Annual Retreat

This one-day retreat takes place away from the main building and offers students and faculty a chance to learn more about the research being done by our training grant students. The retreat features a keynote address from an external committee member, seminars from current and past students along with a poster session.

Year Speaker Title
2017 Dr. Peggy Gnegy, University of Michigan Discovery and development of tamoxifen analogs as anti-amphetamine agents
2018 Mark Cohen, University of Michigan Development of novel HSP90
inhibitors for the treatment of advanced and drug-resistant
2019 Dr. Gary Bassell, Emory University mRNA Transport, Local Translation and Genetic Neurological Disease
2020 Dr. Daniel Lafkas, Genentech “Restoring mucociliary clearance in mucocobstructive diseases”

Fellowship Workshop and Mock Study Section

Students attend this workshop in the summer before their third year as they prepare for the dissertation proposal seminar. Mentors and students attend one session that focuses on development of a training plan and statement of career goals for F31 NRSA applications. Students then attend five sessions that focus on the development of the proposal.  The sessions include:

  • Writing a winning aims page
  • Highlighting the significance and innovation in your proposals
  • Building a compelling story with your preliminary data
  • Writing a clear experimental plan
  • Describing the pitfalls and alternatives

Students will meet in pairs in between sessions to review each other's grant sections. At the end of the sessions, a mock study section will be conducted to review the grants prepared in the workshop. 


Networking and Career Development

This includes an annual field trip to a regional institution that illustrates non-academic career opportunities in the Pharmacological Sciences. In 2017, our students traveled to Ann Arbor to visit the biopharmaceutical company Lycera Corporation. Pictured below:

Picture of IPSTP students with speaker Dr. Toogood and Department Chair Dr. Neubig