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Investigators at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research recognize and thank their graduate students.

Thank you, grad students: An open letter from the Wells Center

A collage of photos of young scientists.

Dear graduate students,

This week, April 6 – 10, 2020, is Graduate Student Appreciation Week. At the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, we are delighted to take this opportunity to recognize a very important group in our community: you!

Training the next generation of scientists is central to our mission at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Wells Center. Often we find that our work, and honoring the scientific legacy of those before us, is not possible without our learners.

It is an honor to have a role in your pursuit of knowledge for the greater good of human health. While many things feel uncertain in the world today, we are surely in good hands with you at our future's helm.

From all of us at the Wells Center, thank you for your contributions.

Reuben Kapur, PhD
Interim Director
Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research

Notes of thanks and recognition to graduate students in the Wells Center:

Farinaz Barghi is an extremely talented and hard-working graduate student in the Pollok Lab. Farinaz brings her energy and passion with her every day! Our whole team wishes to thank her for her collegiality and dedication to pursuing cures for relapsed pediatric sarcomas. - Karen Pollok, PhD
I’m so grateful for Adnan Gopinadhan’s kind nature and his inventive ways of thinking about scientific questions. He’s really added so much to our lab - his science, work ethic, sense of humor and ability to build community are all a big contribution to the work in our lab. -Chandy John, MD
Dear Gabe Maldonado, Given it is graduate student appreciation week, I greatly appreciate your hard work in the lab and dedication to science. I most seriously appreciate the dilemma of not being able to get your hair done as I too have had my barbershop appointment canceled in these pandemic times. You wear your hat as a badge of honor for all of us in need of a trim. You are the best graduate student in the lab right now! And we are all proud to be your colleagues! – Anthony Firulli, PhD
We have never had a grad student with a more amazing smile than Staci Weaver, and we need all the smiles we can get right now. Staci’s outstanding communication skills and networking abilities have helped push our projects to new levels. We appreciate the intelligence, integrity and sunlight that Staci brings to our lab, and we are so very proud that you were selected for a CTSI fellowship award. - Carmella Evans-Molina, MD, PhD
I'd like to thank two outstanding graduate students in my lab, Sergio Barajas and Wenjie Cai, for their dedication and contributions to science. They are the best students I've ever had in the lab. I am so proud of both of them. Wishing them a successful and fruitful PhD training at IUSM! -Yan Liu, PhD
The greatest asset of Ellie Fernander, besides her scientific and critical thinking skills, is her tremendous calm and ability to take everything in stride. She’s rarely flustered or worried or upset or in a bad mood. She just does the work and supports others doing theirs. Her calm and caring nature is a wonderful asset to the lab, and I’m very thankful for it. -Chandy John, MD
We are very lucky to have the super-talented Paul Sohn in the lab. This young scientist is self-motivated, dedicated, well-prepared, and always exhibits tremendous leadership. Paul never stops throwing the ball until he gets a strike, even in scientific experiments. Congratulations on being awarded a fellowship award from the NIH, and on your one year anniversary with your beautiful wife. We all thank you for all your hard work and leadership in the lab. - Carmella Evans-Molina, MD, PhD
It’s been absolutely a delightful experience to work with Austin Reilly. Congratulations on your recent achievements – publishing your first first-author paper and receiving the T32 training award. Your grit, a combination of passion and perseverance, will empower you for greater success in your future scientific endeavors. -Hongxia Ren, PhD
Eliud Odhiambo persists, despite all obstacles. He thinks hard about problem issues, and ways around them, rather than just giving up if I tell him there’s a problem with an approach or an idea. His good spirits, friendliness, sense of humor and ability to get along with everyone are all gifts the entire lab is grateful for, very much including me. -Chandy John, MD
Thanks to John Butterfield , our MD/PhD student from the University of Florida! John already has two first-author publications and multiple oral presentations and national meetings. He is a proud father of two young daughters, and one day he will be able to tell his children how he finished his dissertation research in the middle of a viral pandemic! His family will be very proud of his accomplishments, and I am sure he will become a brilliant physician-scientist! -Roland Herzog, PhD

Maryalice Hartley is the busiest person you are likely to meet. She is taking a full docket of classes, working full time at Lilly, and working at the bench in the Evans-Molina Lab. We marvel at your organization and your diligence. Even though you have only recently joined the lab, you are already impacting a number of projects. We are delighted you chose to work with us, and we can’t to see what you accomplish! - Carmella Evans-Molina, MD, PhD

Learn more about the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and its educational opportunities for learners.

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Sara Buckallew

Sara Buckallew works in the Dean's Office of Strategic Communications. As a communications coordinator, Sara supports internal and external communication needs for the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic...
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.