Virginia Tech hosted its institutional peers for the 10th Mid-Atlantic PREP & IMSD Research Symposium (MAPRS10) in May.

This event is part of Virginia Tech PREP (Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program) for students interested in pursuing a research career in behavioral/biomedical sciences and engineering.  

"Starting with the welcome statements by our academic leaders, including Rob McCarley, Randy Heflin, Menah Pratt, and Dean Suprenant, MAPRS10 showcased the best of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and the environment that the university has created for current and aspiring scientists," said Ed Smith, professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences and founder and program director for VT-PREP and IMSD.

In a uniquely Virginia Tech and Fralin Life Sciences Institute event, the Center for Communicating Science kicked off the symposium with community kaleidoscope activities at Rising Silo Brewery.

The purpose of this symposium is to provide networking and professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and administrators affiliated with the symposium network in the Southeast region. 

Participating institutions include:

  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • University of Maryland -Baltimore
  • University of Maryland - Baltimore County
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wake Forest University
VT-PREP supports students through individualized mentoring, foundation coursework, innovative research, and professional development essential to success in graduate school and competitive doctoral programs.

Five of Virginia Tech's colleges, several institutes, and over 50 individuals participate to create the research and mentoring opportunities that VT-PREP offers. It also partners with the College of Engineering, the College or Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the College of Science, and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 80 percent of PREP scholars go on to pursue a Ph.D. in their field of study, while 38 scholars have earned a Ph.D. in science.

"As the first in-person symposium in three years, the success of MAPRS was due to the collaborative efforts planning committee that included PREP/IMSD alumni at Virginia Tech and faculty and staff," said Smith.

This event is generously supported by the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, the Provost Office, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Several individuals contributed to the success of the event, including Janet Webster, Erica Cooper, Shernita Lee, Chevon Thorpe, Anjolii Diaz, Luke Achenie, Dorsey Massey, Daniela Cimini, Judy Yan, Jatia Mills (grad student). along with trainees and scholars who served as judges.