Breakout Sessions

Morning Breakout Sessions (9:00 AM - 10:00 AM)

Breakout A1: Get That Paper Out The Door! - Pearls and Pitfalls of Publishing (Kimberly Skarupski)

Do you struggle with getting those papers done? Have you been scooped by other investigators because you were late getting your paper published? Do you stare at the computer screen not knowing how to complete that manuscript? It’s time to address those issues and learn how to get those papers out the door! Panelists who specialize in clinical, basic science, translational research, and outcomes research will offer ways to overcome your writing hurdles. Before the session, participants will be asked to identify their most significant barrier to writing productivity. The panelists will structure their presentations and activities around the most significant writing barriers that the attendees themselves have identified. Participants will leave the session having identified several strategies for increasing writing productivity… on their way to academic success. Come, learn and write!

Kimberly A. Skarupski, Ph.D., M.P.H. is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the Office of Faculty Development and an Associate Professor in Medicine (Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology) in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Skarupski first started working in faculty development in 2006 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago IL where she directed the Rush Research & Teaching Mentoring Programs.

Since joining Hopkins in 2013, she has focused her efforts on small group methods to increase scholarly productivity, build confidence, and foster community (e.g. she has kicked-off more than 100 “Writing Accountability Groups/WAGs” for nearly 500 faculty members, post-docs, and trainees). Her team in the Office of Faculty Development provides a wide range of faculty development offerings in the academic career continuum, including: new faculty orientation; seminars and workshops in the promotion pathway areas of education, research, clinical distinction, and program building; senior faculty/transitioning; work-life integration; and exit interviews. She also leads and participates in numerous leadership development programs for trainees and faculty members.

Breakout A2: A Majority of Minorities - Science in the 21st Century (Lucio Gama)

For most of its existence, the scientific method has been studied by a limited – and often privileged – segment of the population. Currently, after dramatic changes in demographics and extension of civil rights to diverse minorities, we would expect that a proportional reflection of our society would be represented in scientific careers. Has such a change happened? If not, why? The workout session will focus on the effects of diversity in science, and how to navigate in an ever-shifting environment where an increased number of distinct – and, at times, antagonistic – factions might compete for resources and cultural legacy.

Lucio Gama, PhD
Dr. Lucio Gama
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with expertise in virology, molecular biology, and immunology – more specifically in HIV/SIV and myeloid cells. He have worked in the Retrovirus Laboratory for 14 years investigating innate immune responses during SIV infection, coordinating several research projects, and co-mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. In 2009, while studying phenotypic variations in myeloid cells during HIV and SIV infection, he identified a novel monocyte subpopulation that suppresses CD8+ T cell proliferation during SIV and HIV acute infection. Following these findings, Dr. Gama started collaborating with other research groups at Johns Hopkins and abroad, studying changes in monocyte phenotypes in the context of HIV, dengue, HTLV-1 infection, and atherosclerosis. In addition, Dr. Gama has been developing in vitro models for the study of HIV and SIV latency/reactivation in monocytes and tissue macrophages. Most recently he demonstrated for the first time that brain macrophages in SIV-infected ART-treated macaques harbor silent viral genomes that can be reactivated by latency reversing agents.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions (1:30 PM - 2:30 PM)

Breakout B1: Becoming a Resilient Scientist (Sharon Milgram)

Navigating new jobs, the career exploration process, and research can seem overwhelming and lead us to doubt ourselves just when we need confidence the most. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss attitudes and behaviors that can get in our way and explore strategies for building resilience and dealing with self-doubt and developing our confidence. The workshop will highlight the emotional intelligence competencies needed for success in research and healthcare careers and will provide insights into approaches for developing these competencies as part of your NIH experience.

Sharon Milgram, PhD
Dr. Sharon Milgram
worked for two years as a physical therapist before returning to graduate school at Emory University where she earned a PhD from the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. She completed postdoctoral training in the Neuroscience Department at The Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There she rose to the rank of Full Professor with tenure in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology. At UNC Dr. Milgram lead an active research program focused on the cell biology of polarized cells. Alumni of her research group work in a variety of STEM careers in all sectors. Dr. Milgram directed training grants from the NSF and NIH, including a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), an Maximize Student Diversity (IMSD) and a Cell and Molecular Biology training grant. She also directed the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences graduate program and was the founder of the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Services.

In 2007 Dr. Milgram joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she directs the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (, an office dedicated to providing career counseling and professional development opportunities for trainees in the NIH intramural Research Program. The OITE coordinates trans-NIH training programs at all educational levels, including the Summer Internship Program, NIH Intramural Postbac Programs, the Graduate Partnership Program, the Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and NIH Intramural Postdoctoral Programs. Dr. Milgram lectures widely on STEM careers and has a passion for working with trainees at all educational levels.

Breakout B2: Well-being in Postdocs - State of the Evidence and Potential Solutions (Patti Anderson)

You’ve seen the headlines about professional burnout, and know firsthand that being a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow can be very stressful. Around the country and here at Johns Hopkins, there has been increased focus on well-being and mental health. In this workshop, we will discuss the latest evidence on graduate and post-graduate well-being. The problem itself is well documented, however there is currently less research informing effective solutions. We will also describe the multi-level strategies we are developing here at the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore campus to support the needs of students and trainees in the  various dimensions of health, including physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, community, and financial wellness.

Patti Truant Anderson, MPH, PhD, is the Director of Wellness and Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins University Health Services. She joined University Health Services in March 2017 to enhance the health and well-being of our students and trainees here in East Baltimore. As a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health alumna who has first-hand experience of student life on our campus, she is working to design, implement and evaluate a comprehensive wellness program and advocate for the needs of learners in our community. She is a public health practitioner who specializes in translating research into evidence-based programs and communication strategies. Dr. Anderson earned a MPH and PhD in Health and Public Policy at JHSPH, and also serves as a Faculty Associate in the JHSPH Department of Health Policy and Management. She has previously worked at Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Public Health Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NORC at the University of Chicago.