2013 Events

Fourth Annual Faculty Development Day

On November 21st, nearly 100 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) faculty members gathered in Goldwurm Auditorium for the Fourth Annual Faculty Development Day. Sponsored by the newly expanded Office of Academic Development and Enrichment (OADE) and its partners, the event focused on "Innovative and Successful Science."

Dennis Charney, MD, kicked off the afternoon with an inspiring keynote address and Q&A session on resilience and gave each audience member a "prescription" for developing their inner strengths. Following Dr. Charney’s address was a panel called "Conducting Big Science." Panel members included Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, Charles Mobbs, PhD, Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Reginald Miller, DVM, Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD, and Geoff Smith, JD. They shared their general advice for junior faculty about conducting research and, as Dr. Garcia-Sastre put it, how to "be contagious" about their research.

After a brief networking break, participants went to one of two break-out sessions for basic and clinical investigators. These sessions allowed for a more intimate discussion of the do’s and don’ts of research. The panel for basic investigators was moderated by Ross Cagan, PhD. He encouraged Lakshmi Devi, PhD, Jeanne Farrell, PhD, Yasmin Hurd, PhD, and Marek Mlodzik, PhD, to discuss getting funded in a difficult environment, mentoring, and how to hire, fire, and inspire. The panel for clinical investigators was moderated by Randall Holcombe, MD. He led a discussion between the audience and panel members Lynne Richardson, MD, Hugh Sampson, MD, and Jeffrey Silverstein, MD, about clinical trials, working with industry, the Office of Research Services, conduits, and mentoring.

One of the attendees remarked, "Dr. Charney’s talk on resilience was much needed. I’m appreciative of such an event and the opportunity to hear about resources from the panel members. It was extremely helpful."

"That is exactly what we were aiming for," said Lakshmi Devi, PhD, dean for academic development and enrichment and coordinator of Faculty Development Day. "The bottom line is that we want all our junior faculty members to succeed and we are here to provide a link to services and resources."

In 2014 the OADE will host a series of lectures and workshops on topics critical to career development at ISSMS. Please email facultydevelopment@mssm.edu to receive more information and a schedule of tentative dates.

Randomized Clinical Trials Workshop

Presented on Tuesday, June 11 by the Office of Academic Enhancement & Mentoring & the Research Re-engineering Program, Michaela Kiernan, PhD, Senior Research Scientist from Stanford University School of Medicine delivered a two part workshop on Randomized Clinical Trials to approximately 60 attendees. The event was aimed at investigators who are contemplating clinical research trials, faculty, particularly junior faculty, and residents or fellows who are participants in or thinking about the formulation of a clinical trial, and investigators participating in industry sponsored studies. Part I systematically exposed researchers to the CONSORT 2010 checklist of 26 essential methodological items needed for the strong study design, efficient implementation, and timely publication of randomized clinical trials. Part II focused on writing techniques, specifically to improve the clarity and conciseness of two important sections of all RCT proposals, IRB protocols, and journal publications—the specific aims and participant flow sections. Dr. Kiernan also reviewed specific strategies for publishing RCT results, especially when confronted by null results.

Research Grant Funding - Writing for the Reviewers

Hosted on April 25th in conjunction with The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Israel A. Goldberg, PhD of Health Research Associates spoke to about 30 post-docs and faculty on strategies for securing funding for biomedical research projects with an emphasis on writing for the reviewers. Topics included: Specific aims that test predictions based on meaningful hypotheses, about mechanisms that drive important functional relationships, The Research Plan, Peer review, priority scores and funding and the Importance of your biographical sketch.

Women in Science and Medicine (WiSM) Launch

On April 3, 2013, the launch event for the Women in Science and Medicine (WiSM)1 of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was a keynote address, entitled "TOOLS FOR SUCCESS" by Carla Harris. Ms Harris is Managing Director, Emerging Managers Program of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, the author of "Expect to Win" and also a Board Member of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The event was sponsored by the Office for Academic Enhancement and Mentoring.

Ms. Harris shared her experience on Wall Street where she discovered that your smarts and diligence are not sufficient for career success. Your colleagues and coworkers will make important decisions that impact you, such as whether you are hired, promoted, or work on a particular project. We are subjective by nature, and thus most workplaces are not as meritocratic as we would hope2. To be successful in these environments, Ms. Harris emphasizes the value of relationships, personality, tenacity and drive.

She organized her insights into five "pearls" of wisdom on women's career advancement and strategies for professional success that are applicable to academic biomedicine as well. They are briefly summarized below. More detail can be found on the WiSM website which is currently under construction.

Pearl #1: You need to be perceived as capable of the role that you are currently filling but, more importantly, to be capable of the role to which you aspire

Pearl #2: There are three relationships that underpin your success, and you can have more than one person fill each of these roles: advisor, mentor and sponsor. Your sponsor is most important because that person has a seat at the decision-making table and argues on your behalf behind closed doors.

Pearl #3: Fear has no place is your success equation, and failures bring you experience therefore you must be willing to take risks.

Pearl #4: Authenticity is at the heart of your power. You are your own competitive advantage.

Pearl #5: Expect to do well. Winners never ask "if"; they ask "when".

1. WiSM is an alliance of our women students, fellows, and faculty to provide a network of support and mentorship, extending access to professional development and outreach opportunities to enhance career success. WiSM is composed of the Women Faculty Group, ISMMS Women's Network, Women in Science and partners with Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Students for Equal Opportunity in Medicine and Students for Equal Opportunity in Science and sponsored by the Office for Academic Enhancement and Mentoring.

2. Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students. Moss-Racusin CA, Dovidio JF, Brescoll VL, Graham MJ, Handelsman J., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 9;109(41):16474-9.

Scientific Writing Workshop

On February 7th & 8th over 70 faculty, staff, and post-docs participated in a Scientific Writing Workshop given by Michaela Kiernan, PhD, Senior Research Scientist from Stanford University School of Medicine. The two-part workshop was geared towards faculty currently writing a manuscript for peer-reviewed journals, grant proposals, or IRB protocols. Workshop I addressed strategies for submitting a responsive grant resubmission and included tips from inside the NIH grant review process. Workshop II reviewed 5 practical techniques to improve clarity and conciseness across all sections of journal manuscripts, grants and IRB protocols. The following day Dr. Kiernan met 1:1 with investigators to review abstracts they were currently preparing for submission. Below is a list of resources provided by Dr. Kiernan to assist investigators in developing their writing skills:

Mentoring In Academic Medicine: How to make it work

The new year kicked off with a seminar from Vivian Reznik, MD, MPH, Assistant Chancellor of Faculty Affairs, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Reznik has worked tirelessly building a successful mentoring program at UCSD. She shared with us the history of building up an initiative that was engaging and beneficial to both mentors and mentees.

Learn more about the mentoring program at UCSD.