Mary Barber, a junior chemistry major at Belmont, recently won a National Institutes of Health / National Institute of General Medical Sciences travel award and attended the Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium (SEMSS) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Duane Hatch (Barber’s Belmont academic advisor) recommended this conference based on her interests in a career as a physician and scientist. SEMSS is an American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) regional meeting that brings together aspiring physician scientists from schools around the southeastern United States.
SEMSS is for undergraduate, MD and MD-PhD students and physician-scientists to share current research and learn about the career path of a physician-scientist. SEMSS is sponsored by the MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Programs) of Vanderbilt University, University of Alabama-Birmingham and Emory University and the American Physician Scientists Association.
In addition to receiving the travel award, Barber was selected as one of four undergraduates to give an oral presentation along with other MD, MD-PhD, and PhD graduate students. Her talk was titled “Modeling Breast Cancer Therapy-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Human Cardiomyocytes,” and she spoke on the implications that novel, targeted cancer therapies have on the heart and the need for developing a pre-clinical model to screen for these toxicities. Barber’s research is based on work she has been doing in Dr. Javid Moslehi’s laboratory at Vanderbilt University in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Barber said, “This was a great weekend for networking, making new friends, meeting future colleagues and learning about interesting science!”