The Upcoming EMPA Conference will be in Paris!

It will take place at the Academy of Medicine and at the Imagine Institute the 29th, 30th June and the 1st July.

The speakers will be :
Dr Jacques Fleurentin : for his work on ethnopharmacology
Dr Pierre Corvol : for his work on hypertension
Pr Guido Kroemer : for his work on apoptosis and autophagy
Dr Laurent Abel : for his work on the genetics of infectious diseases
Pr Hugues de Thé : for his work on onco-hematology
Pr Catherine Chaussain : for her work on stem cells
Pr Fulvio Mavilio : for his work on genetical therapy
Pr Alain Prochiantz : for his work on neurosciences
Pr Yehezkel Ben-Ari : for his work on neurology
More informations at AMPS website (French MD PharmD PhD Association)


Interview with EMPA Board Member Randy Gollub

Interview with senior advisory board (SAB) member Randy Gollub, by David Mehler

Randy L Gollub, MD/PhD, is Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director for Psychiatric Neuroimaging. Since October 2017 she is a member of the Senior Advisory Board at EMPA.

Please tell us a bit about your career path.
My very first career aspiration was to become a neuroscientist. I have always and only ever wanted a job that allowed me to study how brains work. I have the first ever B.S. degree in Neuroscience awarded at Northwestern University. After completing an MD/PhD in neuropharmacology, I did my Psychiatry residency and a research fellowship at Yale, then got my first job at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. I have been here ever since. I was extremely fortunate to arrive here nearly simultaneously with the invention of fMRI. Sometimes you just get lucky.

What has motivated you to become a physician scientist?
As I made my way through university, working in various research laboratories, I asked the folks around me to share their experiences and thoughts about options to pursue that goal. That is how I learned that in the US we have a strong, government funded program that supports MD/PhD training, the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Since I really wanted to understand the brain as an organ of the body with a full understanding of metabolism, cerebrovascular blood flow, etc, it was a natural direction for me. I applied, got accepted at Duke University School of Medicine and the rest is history.

What has motivated you to support EMPA as a SAB member?
Mostly because you asked me. I greatly appreciate the good work you are doing for OHBM, so this is my payback to you! But also, I am generally an easy mark for any kind of mentoring opportunity. I have been the Co-Director of a pre-doctoral T32 neuroimaging training grant for almost 15 years and actively teaching neuroscience for more than 30 years, so this is a familiar experience for me.

From your experience, what role do MD/PhD play in medical
research ?

Often, we are the ones who have had adequate training and time to really understand how to approach a clinically relevant problem in a way that has the potential to either yield meaningful new information, insight or treatment opportunities. But that is absolutely not a rule- there are many great clinically oriented scientists who are either MD or PhD or neither! There is no one single path that yields the greatest results by any metric.

Thanks, Randy. Lastly what are your top three career tips for MD/PhD candidates?
1) Find your passion – you need to have lots of creative energy and tremendous fortitude over a long period of time to truly succeed and it only works when you really love what you do.
2) Find brilliant, supportive mentors, collaborators and trainees to work with and treat them well.
3) Take good care of yourself.

Check out successful publications by EMPA members

Johannes Algermissen & David Mehler
May the power be with you: Are there highly powered studies in neuroscience, and how can we get more of them?
Statistical power is essential for robust science and replicability, but a meta-analysis by Button et al. in 2013 diagnosed a “power failure” for neuroscience. In contrast, Nord et al. (J Neurosci 37: 8051-8061, 2017) reanalyzed these data and suggested that some studies feature high power. We illustrate how publication and researcher bias might have inflated power estimates, and review recently introduced techniques that can improve analysis pipelines and increase power in neuroscience studies.

David Mehler & Sasha Reschechtko
Movement Variability Is Processed Bilaterally by Inferior Parietal Lobule
Robots with artificial intelligence have made enormous progress in solving complex cognitive tasks, but when it comes to learning and executing coordinated, smooth, and complex movements, humans and animals still excel. To ensure consistent skilled movements, the motor system needs to learn how to control and exploit movement variability.

A newsletter by Alaedine Benani, David Mehler and Randy Gollub.