Russek Day Email 2014 – Call For Abstracts

Dear Students and Faculty,

Finally Spring is here and with the rebirth of the world around us comes Student Achievement Day, our time to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduate student community of Boston University’s Medical Campus.  For those of you new to our community, over the past 19 years the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) and the Russek Foundation have rewarded the dedication and unique talents of graduate students in degree granting programs administered by GMS.  Now in our twentieth year we face the same challenges of how to choose the best of our student community to represent outstanding achievement as we did in year one and our process remains the same, still driven by the dedication of individual GMS faculty members who do their best to make the tough decisions.  I am happy to report, however, that we have moved forward into the modern world with online abstract submission!

Each department or degree granting program using a committee of at least three faculty members nominates one to three candidates that they feel best represents outstanding achievement in thesis research as well as student leadership, as exemplified by service activities that either improve the training environment for the individual program, or the community at large by serving in such capacities as student educators or outreach volunteers.  These nominations then go to a central committee made up of a representative from each nominating committee and nominations are presented and voted upon to decide the recipients of the Achievement Awards (first, second, and third prize) that will be presented at the event.  First prize winners give a short slide presentation and second/third prize winners display a poster at the poster session that is also open to all graduate students and postdocs.

The event also includes an opportunity for all students to meet with the visiting professor/Keynote Speaker.  This year we are especially pleased that Dr. David Ginty, world renowned neuroscientist, will be joining us to deliver his Keynote Address entitled “The Sensory Neurons of Touch” to highlight America’s new Brain Initiative.  For more information on abstract deadline submission and the award’s process please go to As a reminder, all award materials go directly to the individual program or department office as hard copy, however, all students applying for an award must also submit their abstract through the online submission page on the GMS website.

I wish you all a happy Spring and look forward to reading those wonderful abstracts from each and every student.  We have a wonderful student community and Achievement Day is the best way to celebrate what makes us so special!

Warm wishes,


Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Laboratory of Translational Epilepsy
Boston University
72 East Concord Street
Boston, MA 02118