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Cornell University


Monday, May 22, 2017
BESTie Elvis Cao is panelist, wins Biotech Symposium poster award

A Ph.D. student in Prof. Erickson’s labBESTie Xiangkun (Elvis) Caoreceived $100 for winning the First Place in Student Research Presentation at the recent 9th annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium. His topic is on: FeverPhone: Point of Care Diagnosis of Acute Febrile Illness using a Mobile Device.

He also joined the panel on Science Communication & Public Understanding, to discuss his experience with the 3 minute thesis competitions he has aced, both at McGill and at Cornell, and his perspective as a graduate student to speak on the modes of communication that have resonated with him and motivated him to learn science which in turn informs how to communicate.

"The ESF experience was a great one! I not only took back home the best poster award, but also built connections with colleagues at different universities."-E. Cao

Moderated by Susi Varvayanis, Senior Director, Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) Program, Cornell University, this panel discussed the importance of scientists and engineers to communicate their work to the public understandably, and the variety of modes available to do so, no matter what stage of your career you are in. The other panelists featured in addition to Elvis Cao were:

  • Rick Beal, Assistant Dean, Educational Outreach and Credit Programs, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology & Director, ESF in the High School, SUNY ESF
  • Jaron-Alena Porciello, Associate Director for Research Data Engagement and Training in International Programs for the Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (IP-CALS)

In addition, on the second day of the symposium Cornell alumnus Richard Uhlig, Chief Executive Officer at Motion Intelligence Inc. spoke on "Bridging the Gap Between Basic Science and Advanced Patient Care – The Success of an Academic/Industry Partnership at Upstate Medical University."

Uhlig, who lives in Ithaca and has worked as the Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley Bank and the Chief Investment Officer at Merrill Lynch Bank, explored how symbiotic relationships between academia and industry can advance important discoveries. Uhlig described the factors necessary to make a successful academic-industry partnership and detailed his personal case study for how he capitalized on a partnership between SUNY Upstate Medical University and Quadrant Biosciences. He is an excellent example of someone who has capitalized on his transferrable skills, in his case learned in the banking and financial sector, to be successful in a completely different field (entrepreneurship and the start-up world) fueled by his passion and personal experience.

See for more information.