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MILES On-the-Road visit to Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM) 15th Annual Meeting


On November 18, 2008, MILES trainees and MILES co-directors Dr. Susan Duncan from the Food Science and Technology Department and Dr. Tim Long from the Chemistry Department participated in The MILES On-the-Road Tour. The MILES On-the-Road Tour (AKA as the Industry Tour) was a four day trip visit to Procter and Gamble (P&G) in Mason OH for one day followed by a three day participation at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM) in Indianapolis IN.

The MILES On-the-Road Tour was an effective tool for introducing students to potential opportunities for internships, post-docs, and employment, increased visibility of the MILES program to potential industry partners, encouraged future research collaborations among faculty, researchers, and industry partners, and established a sense of community among MILES members. At Procter and Gamble, researchers provided opportunities for the students to visit with scientists within the various divisions. Exchange of research interests from industry researchers and students were conducted during a seminar series. MILES faculty showcased their research and overview and goals of the MILES programs. Students presented their research through a technique called “the one minute drill”. The one minute drill allows students to showcase their research during a one minute presentation highlighting the purpose of the research, significance of the research, and future directions. The P&G researchers delivered a series of lectures related to oxidative processes such as bleaching and color of hair, oxidative damage to skin, and provided valuable tips related to finding a job in industry. The P&G scientists engaged with students individually and in small groups during the MILES poster session at the industry site in which students presented their research activities. The three day SFRBM meeting provided students with the experience to present their research activities during poster sessions. Researchers from across the nation and the world attended this meeting and engaged with students through discussions about research interests.

Student evaluations of the impact of the MILES On-the-Road Tour indicated students thought the tour was especially effective at getting to know and interact with other students in the MILES program and was a helpful experience in meeting MILES program goals. Students also indicated they would consider Procter & Gamble for internship or employment options and appreciated getting exposure to both industry and academic/professional meeting settings.

Address Goals

Discovery: Foster research that will advance the frontiers of knowledge, emphasizing areas of greatest opportunity and potential benefit and establishing the Nation as a global leader in fundamental transformational science and engineering. The 2nd MILES On-the-Road Tour provided the opportunity to deliver the research advancements at the interface of biomolecules and macromolecules in academia and industry. The 2nd MILES On-the-Road Tour promoted the active exchange of ideas among researchers, scientists, and students in academia and industry, provided both industry and academia with the opportunity to share and explore new research ideas in interdisciplinary research, catalyzing potential collaborations among various disciplines within academia and industry.

Learning: Cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens. MILES IGERT trainees were engaged in a variety of communication skills to disseminate their research at P&G and at the SFRBM meeting. The one minute drill provided the opportunity for MILES trainees to formally present their research to scientists at P&G. The poster presentations provided the opportunity to informally communicate the research and engage in a one-to-one interaction with researchers from both industry and academia. The MILES program is a flag-ship example of multidisciplinary research in oxidative, free radical processes; thus MILES participation at both P&G and the SFRBM was centered in discussing these processes along with the MILES program goals and objectives. The multidisciplinary collaborations within the life sciences chemistry and engineering disciplines were evident through the diversity of research activities presented at both locations. The MILES On-the-Road-Tour created the atmosphere for bringing new research collaborations into evidence and for initiating new discussions and partnerships in industry and academia.