Inside glimpse into the research of graduate students

Annual lab tours help connect ARCS scholars and members

April 28, 2014

What's it like to work in a research lab?

Members of the Portland chapter of ARCS Foundation and their guests got a behind-the-scenes glimpse in March and April when 10 OHSU ARCS scholars hosted tours of their labs on campus.

"This annual event is a great opportunity to support our scholars and learn about the innovative research they are doing in OHSU labs," said Adrianne Peterson, ARCS lab tour coordinator.

Behind the bench

During the tours, OHSU scholars gave hands-on demonstrations and short updates on their current projects. The scholars were:

  • Jeremy Glynn/Hinds Lab
  • Kevin Watanabe-Smith/Druker Lab
  • Brian Jones/Westbrook Lab
  • Anita Cservenka/Nagel Lab
  • Laura Springgay/Wong Lab
  • Rory Morgan/Cohen Lab
  • Benjamin Rakela/Brehm Lab
  • Chris Vaaga/Westbrook Lab
  • Lillian Klug/Heinrich Lab
  • Glynis Mattheisen/Smith Lab

"There is nothing more Ben Rakelasatisfying than talking about my science and getting people interested in science," said graduate student Ben Rakela. "It is always refreshing to see people's reaction to what has become commonplace in my life."  

He continued, "The ARCS scholarship has been integral to my success in graduate school. When I chose to return to school to pursue a higher degree in science, there was a big drop in income. Being an ARCS scholar made that income drop a lot more manageable and a lot more comfortable in pursuing this path. I am grateful for ARCS support."

Graduate student Rory Morgan added his thoughts. "The tours allow us scholars the opportunity to showcase our research projects to our donors so they can see how they support our educational goals," he said. "It's our chance to demonstrate our research knowledge and tie our education into the bigger picture of medicine."

"Being an ARCS scholar has opened up many different avenues," he said. "I feel less constrained by finances and more focused on my education. More important, as an ARCS scholar, IRory Morgan have a group of individuals rooting for my success, which is far more satisfying that any financial incentive. Seeing their excitement and pride in us scholars is the most motivating and rewarding feeling of being an ARCS scholar."

ARCS support of OHSU graduate studies students

Last fall, ARCS named eight new graduate studies scholars and a nursing scholar as part of its support of future OHSU scientists. In total, ARCS Portland now sponsors 89 OHSU graduate studies students and has given more than $1.4 million in cumulative support since the chapter was founded in 2005.

“We are grateful to ARCS Portland for its generous support of OHSU graduate studies students,” said Dean Mark Richardson. “By investing in future scientists, ARCS is helping advance our state and nation’s biomedical research capabilities, which, in turn, will lead to better human health.” 

The ARCS Foundation Scholar Award is $18,000, payable over three years at $6,000 per year, with each award presented in October. 

Recipients of these highly sought-after awards have gone on to conduct breakthrough research in fields of science and technology; found companies; receive patents; publish extensively in major science journals; and receive national or international science-based awards.

For example, a recent study led by ARCS alumna Allison Anacker, Ph.D. ’12, is attracting significant media attention for its investigation of prairie vole couples and the role that drinking alcohol plays in their relationships. Time, National Geographic, Popular Science and more have covered it. Dr. Anacker appeared on NPR’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow to talk about the findings. 

To learn more about current ARCS scholars at OHSU and a listing of donors, please visit ARCS Portland Chapter website.

ARCS group tour 2014

Pictured above: (top) Ben Rakela; (middle) Rory Morgan; (bottom) ARCS group tour