Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Symposium

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The Graduate School will host the Second Annual Graduate + Postdoctoral Research Symposium on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Shalala Student Center on the Coral Gables Campus. 

The symposium will include poster and oral presentations, TED-like talks, and a keynote speaker. The symposium will finish with a catered reception and awards ceremony. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top poster and oral presentations. Students, faculty, and staff form all campuses are invited to attend the symposium, celebrating creativity, innovation, and scientific discovery across all disciplines.

Dr. Hansel Tookes, MD, MPH, is the Founder and Medical Director of the IDEA Exchange. As Medical Director, Dr. Tookes works to empower, educate, and serve the communities of South Florida, especially, Miami-Dade County, through harm reduction. With a passion for behavioral interventions and innovative approaches to HIV prevention, his goal is to continue to conduct translational research that will effect changes in health policy to improve the health of the community. He has extensive experience in working with low socioeconomic status patients and drug users. He has extensive training on inpatient HIV care and in outpatient continuity HIV care. His experience with his patients has enabled him to be an effective advocate in the State of Florida. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Medical Association and has advocated successfully for health policy change in Tallahassee. (Sourced from

Agenda Overview

12:15 p.m.- Lunch and registration

1:00 p.m. - Keynote address

2:00 p.m.- Poster Session

3:30 p.m.-  Oral Presentations

5:00- TED-like talks

6:00- Awards Ceremony and reception

For a full overview of the event agenda and all presenters and their abstracts, visit the Research Symposium's digital agenda, Download the Sched app for the event day to build your own itinerary from the available sessions.  



Previous Graduate + Postdoctoral Research Symposiums

  • 2019 Recap

    Poster Presentation Winners
    • Health & Life Sciences
      • Winner: Hallie Quiroz, Postdoctoral Fellow in Vascular Research
      • Winner: Morgan Gianola, Ph.D. Student in Psychology
      • Runner-up: Natalia de la Oliva Muñoz, Postdoctoral Fellow in Neuroscience 
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences
      • Winner: Nima Hosseinzadeh Nanehkaran, Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering 
      • Runner-up: Yusuf Secerdin, Ph.D. Student in Industrial Engineering
    • Social & Behavioral Sciences
      • Winner: Vanesa Mora Ringle, Ph.D. Student in Psychology
      • Runner-up: Estefany Saez Flores, Ph.D. Student in Psychology
    • Arts & Humanities
      • Winner: Victor Rubio, Master's Student in Music Education
      • Runner-up: Lorena Knezevic, Master's Student in Architecture
    • People’s Choice: Babak Vafaei, Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering
    Oral Presentation Winners
    • Risk & Resilience Session: Judith Lobo, Ph.D. Student in Psychology 
    • Ecosystem Science Session: Maria Cartolano, Postdoctoral Fellow in Marine Biology and Ecology 
    • Advancing Biomedical Research Session: Mirza Muhammad Fahd Qadir, Ph.D. Student in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology 
    TED-like Talks Winner
    • Alvaro Ruiz Emparanza, Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering

    For event pictures, click here.

    For a full list of presenters and abstracts, click here.

    For the full video of the keynote address and Ted-like Talk Presentations, click here