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MILES launches the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Interdisciplinary Forum for Discovery in Life Sciences


The Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences (MILES) program, now in its no-cost extension year of funding from the National Science Foundation, is shifting graduate education at Virginia Tech. MILES co-directors, Dr. Susan Duncan (Department of Food Science and Technology) and Dr. Tim Long (Department of Chemistry and Director of Fralin’s Life Science Institute) in conjunction with Dr. Mark Van Dyke (Wake Forest University) are co-organizing the inaugural ACC Interdisciplinary Forum for Discovery in Life Sciences.

The ACC forum will include participation from all of the 12 ACC colleges and universities: Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, University of Maryland, University of Miami, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest University and will be held at Virginia Tech on October 3-6, 2010 (conference website: ).

The ACC Interdisciplinary Forum for Discovery in Life Sciences will focus on discoveries that provide important advances in the life sciences relevant to health and nutrition, biomedical science and engineering, biochemistry, cell biology, and macromolecular chemistry. The symposium will provide an opportunity for scientific exchange between ACC graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty. The inaugural symposium will represent a signature program for ACC institutions to foster scientific exchanges based on research and education in life science disciplines, including science, engineering, and social sciences. Invited plenary speakers, technical oral sessions from faculty and students based on research and education, and an evening for a students-focused research poster session will represent the format of the conference. The conference will include an informal faculty and student interactions during a student training/mentoring session. The conference will also allow for local regional activities in the Blacksburg area.

Address Goals

It is expected that the inaugural ACC Interdisciplinary Forum for Discovery in the Life Sciences will provide an exciting exchange of research ideas and promote collaborative research interactions among ACC faculty and students. The forum is designed to assemble undergraduate and graduate researchers with faculty advisors from the various institutions to address rapidly emerging challenges in interdisciplinary graduate research and education. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest have worked together to assemble a technical program that identifies the needs in life science disciplines. The forum will include a graduate student training session. The registration of the conference is $75.00 for students and faculty. We envision this flagship program to be an attractive opportunity for a general scientific audience in part due to the diversity of the program and the low cost of attending the meeting. The MILES program is hosting this exciting event to broader participation into the program. Funding support for the program have been generated from the Virginia Tech interdisciplinary institutes, the university, in addition to the NSF-funded MILES IGERT program.