This past May our department celebrated an extraordinary milestone: 50 years! The celebration was a three-day event filled with science talks, a student symposium, and wonderful speakers. In addition to current students and faculty, we welcomed many alumni, former directors and administrators, who came from all over the country.
The celebration kicked off on Thursday, May 19th at The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor. We had a transparency meeting with our current students, faculty, and director Manoj Puthenveedu. The afternoon consisted of science talks from our phenomenal CMB faculty members.
Thursday evening was our celebratory dinner, in which many past and current CMB faculty spoke. Dave Engelke, a past CMB director, gave us great insight into the history of our program and shared some wonderful memories. We were also able to welcome Dr. Mrinalini Rao to speak with us; she was the first-ever student to matriculate into the CMB program in 1972. She had fantastic stories of her time at Michigan and what the program was like, and shared some insightful advice for our students!
The main event on Friday, May 20th featured our Myron Levine Keynote lecture and our student symposium. The Myron Levine Keynote lecture was delivered by Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D. where she spoke about her current research in her lab. Erika is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Physiology. In the afternoon, our current students and alumni presented their posters to display their current research to the public.
On the final day of the celebration, our Career Committee put on a Pathway to Industry Career Panel. The panelists were Frederick Derheimer, Dara Leto, and Hillary Warrington. They are all CMB Alumni who shared their perspectives on their career paths and finding success in post-grad life.
A big thank you to all who participated, and we are glad everyone was able to celebrate the program’s successes and reflect on our half-century of progress. We look forward to using this energy to build on our achievements for the future!