06/04/2007

WVU to Host MAGSS Symposium
Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s Senior Vice President Robert Ruffolo to speak  

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –   Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ President of Research and Development Robert R. Ruffolo, Ph.D., the scientist responsible for sponsoring an $11.79 million biomedical research initiative at West Virginia University, will return in June to share his research expertise with 100 pharmacy graduate students from schools across the Mid-Atlantic region.  

Ruffolo, Wyeth’s senior vice president, received an honorary degree from the University during the May 2007 Commencement.  He will deliver one of two keynote speeches at the 40th annual Mid-Atlantic Graduate Student Symposium (MAGSS) in Medicinal Chemistry, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 10.

MAGSS is a student-run poster and oral presentation competition.  Students submit abstracts and posters to a graduate selection committee; the top ten students are selected to give oral presentations before the group. 

“MAGSS is an intimate environment for graduate students to work on their presentation skills,” John Jett, symposium chairman said.  “It’s also a great way to meet with other researchers and discuss possible collaborations.”

This is the first time in WVU’s history that the school will sponsor the event.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ President of Research and Development Robert R. Ruffolo, Ph.D., the scientist responsible for sponsoring an $11.79 million biomedical research initiative at West Virginia University 

“The entire conference is run by graduate students,” Jett said.  “The school has been a co-sponsor in the past but this is the first year we’ll be solely in charge of the event.”

The student committee plans, organizes and executes the symposium, taking place in Morgantown, June 10 through 12.  Most events will occur at the Health Sciences Center.

“The planning process helps us become acquainted with how symposiums are organized,” said Jett, pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences Ph.D. student.  “It gives students a behind the scenes look at conferences and makes us better rounded for presentations.”

The planning committee is comprised of 15 graduate students from the WVU School of Pharmacy’s Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences program and the Bennett Department of Chemistry.

The committee selected participants from Duquesne University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Toledo, Wayne State University and WVU.

Giving the second keynote address is Robert Powers, Ph.D., a forensic toxicologist at the University of Connecticut.  He also serves as director of the Controlled Substances/ Toxicology Laboratory for the Connecticut Department of Public Safety.  His speech will begin at 11:00 a.m. on June 12.

Under the guidance of School of Pharmacy faculty members, Patrick Callery, Ph.D. and Peter Gannett, Ph.D., students have worked since June 2006 to plan the symposium. 

"There will be poster and podium presentations on forensic science, drug design and development, and other research at the chemistry-biology interface," said Callery.

Faculty members from the participating universities will judge the podium and poster presentations.  In 2005 and 2006, WVU boasted the best poster presentation winner at MAGSS. 

For more information on MAGSS and the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/magss2007/index.html.

- WVU -


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For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
bovinost@wvuh.com
cw:06-04-07

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