Keystone Symposia and The Leadership Alliance Collaborate on Virtual Symposium on Mentoring

Keystone Symposia and The Leadership Alliance Collaborate on Virtual Symposium to be Held June 26, 2018 Focused on Mentoring the Next Generation of Underrepresented (UR) Biomedical Scientists
By: Keystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. - June 21, 2018 - PRLog -- Keystone Symposia is pleased to announce that it will host an ePanel discussion on "Mentoring Next-Gen Underrepresented (UR) Biomedical Scientists: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Right on Target" on June 26, 2018 at 2:30 PM ET. Sponsored by Biogen, the free 90-minute event will be broadcast globally and will include a 30-minute audience Q&A session. The event is open to everyone; online registration is required at Audience members can enter a question for the panel either during registration or during the event broadcast via the chat room.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Irelene Ricks, Keystone Symposia's Director of Diversity in Life Science Programs. Panelists featured are Drs. Roland J. Thorpe of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (Associate Professor and a Keystone Symposia Diversity Advisory Committee member), Dr. Nicole LaRonde of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Associate Professor and a former Keystone Symposia Fellow), Dr. Amol Kulkarni of Howard University (Associate Professor and also a former Keystone Symposia Fellow), and Dr. Michael W. Lipscombe of Howard University (Associate Professor and a member of the Keystone Symposia Diversity Advisory Committee). Joining for the live Q&A will be Dr. Medeva Ghee, Executive Director of The Leadership Alliance and Assistant Professor of Brown University, and Dr. Christine Pfund, Associate Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PI in the National Resource Mentoring Network (NRMN).

Despite a wide range of efforts, there remains a disparity in the number of underrepresented scientists working in the life sciences compared to their share of the overall US population. The US Government defines underrepresented as those who identify as African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. This Virtual Keystone Symposia event will address the challenges for improving progress on this front and will examine specific examples of mentoring and support that works, as well as those that don't. According to Dr. Ricks, "We know how crucial it is for UR investigators early in their careers to have role models who not only provide encouragement and advice, but with whom they can identify as a result of a shared background. This is why the Keystone Symposia Fellows program is an important national asset to the U.S. biomedical workforce. We are pleased to shed light on the keys to mentoring success with this event that highlights the fact that cross-cultural mentoring can occur successfully as demonstrated by our Fellows and their mentors." Adds Dr. Medeva Ghee, "Mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds is central to the mission of The Leadership Alliance and we are looking forward to sharing our expertise with others."

About Virtual Keystone Symposia

Keystone Symposia's new "Virtual Keystone Symposia" format is a way to hold short symposia and panel discussions on timely topics that can benefit from an accelerated production schedule. The format also serves as a way to share the insights gained with a more extensive global audience than those who can attend face-to-face conferences. To date since this new programming model was launched about four years ago, more than 10,000 people have participated in Virtual Keystone Symposia events, which have been held on diverse scientific topics including neuroscience, genome editing, noncoding RNAs, malaria, HIV and multiple sclerosis, as well as broader topics such as drug discovery, health disparities, tech transfer and reproducibility in biomedical research. All events are available to view in archived form at In addition to virtual events, this site also houses various scientific video talks filmed at various Keystone Symposia conferences.

About Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology

Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been conducting internationally renowned, open scientific conferences since its founding as UCLA Symposia in 1972 and has been headquartered in Summit County, Colorado, USA since 1990.

Keystone Symposia convened 60 face-to-face conferences in the 2017-2018 season, the majority of which took place between January and April 2018, on topics ranging from cancer and immunology to neuroscience and genomics. Registration fees are supplemented by generous financial support from corporate, foundation and individual donors as well as government grants.

From 2016 to 2018, the organization marked a special two-year period of "Celebrating Diversity" and is pleased to report that during this period, representation by invited female speakers at the podium increased from 28% to 33% of overall speakers across the Keystone Symposia conference portfolio, while representation of UR invited speakers increased from approximately 3% to 5%. Keystone Symposia's Diversity in Life Science initiatives include the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program, travel awards for early-career UR investigators to attend Keystone Symposia conferences, and a variety of mentoring opportunities.

More information about the organization and its conferences is located at and, respectively.

About The Leadership Alliance

The Leadership Alliance is a national academic consortium comprising 36 research, teaching and minority-serving institutions of higher education and private industry. For more than two decades, the Alliance has identified, trained and mentored over 450 researchers who have completed a doctoral degree, including 404 Ph.D. and 48 M.D.-Ph.D. degrees. With 54% of Doctoral Scholars pursuing careers in higher education, 58% of whom are in tenure track positions, the value of the consortium to promoting diversity in academia and the research workforce is clear.  For more information about The Leadership Alliance, visit


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