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Training Program

The objectives of the Cell Biology Training Program are met through several different mechanisms. Faculty/student interactions are promoted through biweekly journal clubs, a "Seminars in Cell Biology" series and the Van Liere Research Day. In addition to discussing state-of-the-art approaches in journal club, with faculty and seminar speakers, students have the opportunity to participate in hands on workshops in core facilities in the Health Sciences Center.  This group also organized a regional cell biology meeting and established connections in the cell biology communities at Ohio University, Marshall University and the University of Kentucky.

This training program is designed to build upon didactic instruction received by the students in the first year curriculum in Biomedical Sciences. Concepts taught in the Foundations for Contemporary Biomedical Sciences and Cellular Methods courses form the base for the advanced concepts discussed in this training program. Participation in the Cell Biology Training Program may reap immediate benefits, e.g. providing insight for experimental design for ongoing research projects. The program will support a "student sabbatical" allowing students to spend 3 weeks at a lab at another institution to learn cutting edge technology not yet available at WVU. In the long term the program will provide important training for the further development of a career in science including opportunities to explore career alternatives, particularly for those with an interest in cell biology.

Journal Club:
We explore areas of interest and new technology through participation in a journal club where we spend a few weeks focused on subjects chosen by the students.

Examples of Topics include:
- Studying GTPase activation using FRET imaging
- Imaging real-time cell migration and invasion in C. elegans
- Live cell imaging of actin dynamics in hippocampal neurons
- Small animal imaging techniques
- Atomic force microscopy
- Stem cells
- Imaging techniques to overcome the diffraction limit - STED, PALM and iPALM
- Lgr5, wnt signaling and stem cells
- The uses of ultra sound imaging in cardiovascular and cancer research using small animal models.

Students invite and host seminar speakers doing exciting work in cell biology fields of interest. These experts bring new ideas and areas of imaging expertise to our program.

Past Speakers include: 
David R. Sherwood, Ph.D.
Duke University
"Genetic analysis of development in C. elegans: modeling cell invasive behavior"

Donna J. Webb, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
"Imaging spine morphogenesis and synapse formation in hippocampal neurons"
Clare Waterman
Director, Cell Biology and Physiology Center National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute National Institutes of Health
“Integrating Actin Dynamics and Adhesion in cell migration”

Nick Barker
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
"Lgr5 stem cells in epithelial self-renewal and cancer"

Ronglih Liao
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
"Cardiac Regeneration: Can we turn back time?”
Peter Friedl
Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
"Intravital microscopy of collective cancer invasion and metastatic dissemination"

Our students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops to gain experience in new imaging techniques.

Past Workshops include:
- Small Animal Imaging
- Visit the Animal Models & Imaging Facility to see our IVIS Lumina in action. Students will visualize orthotopic bioluminescent tumors and metastases in live mice.

Histology series:  General introduction to histology and tissues; introduction to specific histology topics selected by the students - circulatory system, nervous system.  The workshop includes three "hands on" microscope sessions studying histological specimens.
Neuropathology:  Two workshops were led by Dr. Fahad Bafakih, Chief Resident in Pathology at the WVU School of Medicine.  The first workshop was focused upon the pathology of cancer in the central nervous system and the second workshop covered the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases.  Special thanks to Drs. Barb Ducatman, Kymberly Gyure and the Department of Pathology for providing access to the pathology teaching lab.

The students of the Cell Biology Training Program organized the inaugural Appalachian Regional Cell Conference held in 2012 in Charleston, West Virginia.  They established contacts with students at Ohio University, Marshall University and the University of Kentucky, who shared an interest in Cell Biology.  The students applied and received funding from the American Society for Cell Biology to defray the costs of the meeting.  The inaugural meeting was very successful attracting 73 participants from the region.  Students presented their research in podium and poster presentation.  Dr. Vinay Pathak, Head of the Viral Mutation Section of the HIV Drug Resistance Program at the NCI, gave the keynote address.

Since the inaugural event, the students have organized four additional annual ARCC meetings. Dr. Alfred Goldberg from Harvard University was featured as the keynote speaker to the 5th annual ARCC.