University of Iowa welcomes Simpson to neuroscience research day

by Michelle Hartmann, copy editor

Neuroscience Research Day at the University of Iowa was a day full of different activities and lectures for Simpson College students.

The Psychology Club at Simpson has been in contact with the university since this summer in order to try to become more visible to students on campus. After the initial contact, The University of Iowa reached out to the president of the club, Sarah Beadle, and told her of the opportunity to go to the research presentation day.

“I said we have a growing neuroscience program and if you have any psychology or neuroscience days forthcoming, shoot me the info. Then they got me in touch with the woman who helped me organize the trip,” Beadle said.

Fourteen students attended the research day, where they started off with Pancheros for lunch. After they ate, a welcome speech and lectures covering a range of advances in neuroscience greeted the students.

However, for professor Don Evans, the poster session after lectures was the most interesting. There were 28 graduate students total who prepared poster presentations for the research day.

“I enjoy talking with people at poster sessions, so I talked to a couple of grad students about stuff they’re doing that I also do,” Evans said. “I talk to them about their lab work; not just about their results, but also how they do their research and the problems we all face when we do that kind of research.”

While the poster session was extremely informative, Evans and Beadle think it was a great opportunity to get students more aware of graduate school from people who didn’t graduate from Simpson. Instead, Simpson students were able to talk to whoever was presenting their research and get an idea of other things they could explore.

“Coming from a small school, we don’t really get to hear as much about graduate research unless we are hearing from our own graduates,” Beadle said. “It was nice to have people go and hear what other schools are doing for their research projects.”

Both Beadle and Evans agreed that the keynote speaker after presentations was also excellent.  Philip Haydon, professor of neuroscience and chair of the department of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine, gave his speech on new advances on Alzheimer’s research which could affect how the disease is treated.

To wrap up the day, students were able to meet with someone who explained the process of applying to graduate schools.  Beadle hopes the students who went will have a better understanding of what it takes to get into summer research or graduate school.

“I’m hoping they’ll get more of an idea of what they need to include in their summer research opportunities and how to start that first conversation with faculty they want to do research with,” Beadle explained. “It was really helpful to learn how to do those applications.”