Hello to all continuing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and welcome to the new arrivals. Welcome to the May issue of Current Affairs. This newsletter brings together all facets of our graduate and postdoctoral programs, providing interesting student and faculty profiles, the latest funding news, recent student publications, and upcoming events.
As the winter term transitions into the summer, it is a time of renewal, refreshment and looking forward to a productive few months. For those of you who are new to the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, a special welcome in your pursuit of your degree. In this exciting time, I encourage you to connect with your Advisory Committee as soon as possible and every six months or so, throughout your studies. Your Advisory Committee has a wealth of knowledge and can provide very useful guidance along your research path.
There were several interesting articles appearing recently with predictions of the future of world wide trends in the research endeavour. Some are very encouraging about the needs for higher degrees in the biomedical science such as those coming from the higher Education Quality Assurance Council of Ontario’s study about to be released in July. Others have a less rose-coloured view of the need to recognize the plateauing of funding and resources, such as that in the recent April 22 article by Alberts et al.
It is important to put these both into perspective. For many of our graduates the opportunities are developments outside the traditional disciplines and outside of academia. They are interdisciplinary in nature with emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These are the basis of our graduate programs, although these skills are directed at a particular biomedical issue. Where we can excel is in developing programs that emphasize these skills and look for opportunities for interdisciplinarity, not only across our School but also in the wider University environment and with corporate partners. These are where some of the exciting developments will be created and where career opportunities will be the most abundant.
I look forward to connecting with you in your environments, through this newsletter, and at the annual London Health Research Days (LHRD). Next year’s LHRD will be a particularly interesting event as we invite our colleagues from Nanjing Medical University to join us for the day and participate in a symposium on the following day.
As you progress in your program at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, I want to wish you a productive and enjoyable time.
All the best,
Doug Jones, PhD
Vice Dean, Basic Medical Sciences