Annual Research Symposium

28th Annual Research Symposium: March 16, 2017

Research symposium poster session
Learn more about the 2016 Research Symposium and view the event photo gallery.

Our twenty-eighth Annual Research Symposium will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the main college complex on the Virginia Tech campus.

The event showcases graduate student research and will feature keynote speakers Andrew Pelling, professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, and R. Mark Simpson, Senior Scientist in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research.

The symposium is sponsored by Zoetis and the Office of Research & Graduate Studies.

View the 2017 Symposium Program.

Symposium Keynote Speakers

Andrew Pelling, Ph.D.

Andrew Pelling

Award winning scientist, professor, entrepreneur, TED Fellow and TED speaker, Andrew Pelling has built a career on unapologetic curiosity, creativity and serendipity. Pelling is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, where he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers. The lab uses low-cost, open source materials and methods to explore speculative living technologies of the future. He is also the co-founder and CTO of Spiderwort, a mission driven company developing open source platforms to enable the widespread and global adoption of biological research in all environments and economic contexts, and founder of pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity.

Pelling’s work has been in the international media spotlight for many years, with recognition in outlets such as Wired, Huffington Post, NPR, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC, Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle and others, as well as numerous highlights in the Canadian media and scientific media. In 2016, he was named a TED Fellow, one of 21 people chosen annually by the TED organization who are considered to be the most disruptive and transformative change-makers in the world.

Pelling completed his undergraduate studies at University of Toronto, his Ph.D. under the supervision of James K. Gimzewski at the University of California, Los Angeles and his post-doctoral research as a Senior Research Fellow at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London with Michael A. Horton. Pelling directs the Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation, an exploratory space where scientists, engineers and artists work in close quarters. The lab is dedicated to understanding the limits of living systems and how biological entities can be controlled, manipulated and re-purposed using non-genetic and non-pharmacological approaches. The work is heavily informed by the biophysical and biological sciences, DIY and a culture of manipulation.

Learn more about Andrew Pelling and his research.

R. Mark Simpson, DVM, Ph.D.

R. Mark Simpson

R. Mark Simpson is a Senior Scientist in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research. He is adjunct graduate professor or clinical professor at four colleges of veterinary medicine, and serves as an elected board member and is immediate past president of the Executive Council of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Simpson is a doctor of veterinary medicine graduate of the University of Georgia, Athens. He completed postgraduate clinical training in veterinary pathology and research training leading to a Ph.D. in comparative biomedical science at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He is specialty board certified by The American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Simpson was a faculty member and hematopathologist at the North Carolina State University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Raleigh. Subsequently, he became a staff scientist with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases intramural research program, Laboratory of Immunogenetics and the Infectious Diseases Pathogenesis Branch. In May 2001, Simpson joined the NCI Center for Cancer Research to establish and head the Molecular Pathology Unit, Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics. He is founding director of the NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program, an initiative to provide interdisciplinary training for veterinarians, in both diagnostic pathology and human disease-oriented medical research, to increase the synergy for comparative biomedical research interactions. This program is an NCI-administered component of the NIH Graduate Partnership Program and training leads to a Ph.D. and eligibility to certify as a veterinary pathologist.

Learn more about R. Mark Simpson and his research.