Fostering a Collegial Meeting of the Minds

Einstein is home to more than 2,000 faculty members working in research and clinical disciplines across 30 academic departments. In addition to powering Einstein's excellence in research and medicine, faculty members serve as mentors to the hundreds of students and postdoctoral fellows at the College of Medicine.

In 2012, the Faculty Interaction Committee (FI Comm) was created by the Einstein Senate to foster and facilitate communication among colleagues at Einstein, under the leadership of Dr. Pamela Stanley, professor of cell biology and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Chair.  "A key goal of FI Comm is to encourage collaborative connections between faculty members by organizing events at which research and clinical faculty can interact," she noted.

One initiative of FI Comm is its monthly Seeds for Collaboration networking session, which is noted on Einstein's online academic calendar and advertised widely. Snacks, drinks and casual banter lend an air of informality to the proceedings, where basic, social and clinical scientists and physicians mingle and discuss ideas.

At each meeting, three faculty members deliver a succinct overview of their work in a five-minute presentation, allowing other faculty in attendance to consider the potential for working together. Discussion follows during the faculty mixer.

At a recent meeting, Drs. John Reidhar-Olson, Judith Wylie Rosett and David Shechter offered an overview of their work that could be useful to colleagues. Their presentations were followed by a lively discussion among the several dozen faculty members in attendance.

"To date, numerous collaborations have resulted from seeds planted during exchanges at these meetings," said Dr. Stanley. "The meetings are a great place for ideas to take root and connections to be made.

She continued, "For example, at a Seeds for Collaboration last year, Drs. David Shechter and Lloyd Fricker realized that they were both interested in glutamylation; David in its effects on the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin, and Lloyd on novel enzymes that deglutamylate. David and Lloyd have now discovered an enzyme that deglutamylates nucleoplasmin and hope to write a joint grant application."

"The gatherings also provide newly recruited faculty members an opportunity to interact with senior colleagues who might serve as mentors as well as collaborators," added Dr. Adam Friedman, assistant professor of medicine and member of the FI Comm. "We're planning to develop a FI Comm website that can offer other avenues for connecting," he noted.

For more information on FI Comm, or to find out how you can present at a Seeds for Collaboration gathering, please contact Pamela Stanley by e-mail at pamela.stanley@einstein.yu.edu.

Drs. Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani and Roger Duvivier engage in conversation
Drs. Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani and Roger Duvivier engage in conversation
Dr. Vern Schramm makes a point during a discussion with colleagues
Dr. Vern Schramm makes a point during a discussion with colleagues
Dr. David Schechter offers one of three five-minute presentations
Dr. David Schechter offers one of three five-minute presentations
 

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