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Midwest North

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Midwest North Regional Node Meeting – September 17-18, 2022

The Midwest North Regional Node held its second in-person meeting at the University of Detroit-Mercy on September 17-18, 2022. The University of Detroit-Mercy provided the meeting space for free, as well as free IT support and the use of a 15 passenger van at no cost. This meeting included Node faculty, undergraduates, and keynote speaker Dr. Chris Shaffer (Washington University in St. Louis). At the two day event, the following were discussed: 

1) A state of the Node report from Node leader Dr. Jackie Wittke-Thompson (University of St. Francis), 
2) Research talks from undergraduate GEP researchers, 
3) Panel discussions on GEP implementation from both seasoned and newer implementers, 
4) Keynote presentation from Dr. Chris Shaffer
5) Undergraduate student discussion from GEP alumni presented via Zoom, 
6) Discussion of future Node events, including potential recruitment from community colleges, an online presentation, etc

What worked well for your event that might help others plan similar events?

The use of the Detroit-Mercy Campus, having undergraduates present data from the different GEP projects, and splitting faculty into seasoned and new faculty for group discussions on implementation worked really well for this event.

What would your Node do differently based on your experiences?

The Node leader suggests hosting meetings at other locations in the Node besides the University of Detroit-Mercy. The low cost makes Detroit-Mercy a good location, but it’s possible that some members that live further away from Detroit are unable to take part in the Node activities. This was part of the discussion at the September 2022 meeting. 

Since this meeting, the Midwest North and South Regional Nodes have been combined into a single Midwest Regional Node. This will result in additional locations that can be used to host Regional Node meetings. 

GEP Regional Node Meeting Virtual

Midwest North Regional Node Meeting – January 26, 2023

The Midwest North Regional Node, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, held a Regional Node Meeting virtually on January 26, 2023. The meeting was organized by the Node Leader,  Dr. Jackie Wittke-Thompson (University of St. Francis). The 28 attendees were from 21 institutions and included 19 GEP faculty, 6 prospective GEP faculty, and 3 undergraduates. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce GEP to community college faculty in the Midwest North region and to give an opportunity for undergraduate students to share their recent annotation projects. Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included a presentation by Dr. Paula Croonquist (Anoka-Ramsey Community College) on the impact of using CUREs at community colleges and the support from GEP for implementing genomics CUREs, a discussion with Dr. Natalie Minkovsky (Community College of Baltimore County) on the trials and successes of implementing GEP CUREs at a community college, and three undergraduate research presentations by Jacob Jones and Kwame Asamoah from Taylor University, and Julia Kaniuk from Loyola University Chicago. This successful event is meant to be the precursor to a Regional Node Training for the Midwest North Node during Summer/Fall 2023. 

What worked well for your event that might help others plan similar events?

Event organizers sent personal invitations to colleagues at community colleges. The event was also held using the Zoom platform, which includes various accessibility features, such as recordings, auto-generated captions, and text formatting.

What would your Node do differently based on your experiences?

Organizers started planning the event in mid-December. Between the Holidays and everyone being busy during the start of the Spring Semester, there wasn’t much time to send out invitations and recruit students for presentations. Future events need to be planned earlier in advance and invitations need to be sent out with enough time for faculty and students to register.


Midwest North Regional Node Meeting

The Midwest North Node, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, held the GEP’s first NIH-funded Regional Node Meeting in Detroit, MI, at the University of Detroit Mercy, on September 7th – 8th, 2019.

The meeting was organized by Martin Burg (Node Leader), Jacob Kagey (Host Site Leader), and Jamie Siders. The 32 attendees included 12 faculty, 2 postdocs, and 18 undergraduates from 9 institutions (Albion College, Grand Valley State University, Illinois State University, Mount Mary University, Oakland University, Ohio Northern University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, Wayne State University).

Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included:

  • undergraduate talks presenting GEP and other CURE data
  • benefits of becoming a Teaching Assistant
  • dos & don’ts of applying to graduate and professional school
  • GEP faculty discussion about future node events
  • faculty breakout sessions on CURE implementation
  • keynote by Nathan Mortimer titled “Invasion of the body snatchers: A functional genomics approach to understanding parasite virulence proteins”

This successful event kicked off the GEP’s first year of NIH IPERT-supported regional activities and created a template for future events as we ramp up activity under the 5-year IPERT grant.