Student Handbook

Seminars & Journal Clubs


The bulletin board across from the first floor elevator in the Biotechnology Building is the place to check for topics, times and places of talks. Two seminar series that you are required to attend are:

Friday Molecular Biology and Genetics Seminar (BioMG7870): 4:00-5:00 pm Fridays during Fall and Spring semesters and occasionally during the Summer in the Biotechnology Building Conference Room (G10). These talks are given by scientists visiting from other institutions and provide an opportunity to hear and meet some of the most distinguished researchers in the areas of genetics and development. Speakers are usually invited and hosted by faculty members, but graduate students can play a significant role in choosing whom to invite. First, students can suggest names of desirable speakers to their major professor, and second, at least once a year graduate students have the opportunity to independently invite and host a distinguished scientist. Very popular speakers who would otherwise be “too busy” will often find time in their schedules if they are invited by students rather than faculty. Coffee, tea and cookies are available at 3:45 pm, and there is usually an informal “Meet the Speaker” Happy Hour immediately after the seminar in one of the lounges upstairs. In addition, there is usually an opportunity for a group of graduate students to take the speaker to lunch on Friday. If you are interested in talking individually with a speaker, see the host listed at the bottom of the seminar notice and he or she will be glad to try to schedule you.

Wednesday Field Seminars (BioMG7860): 12:20-1:20 pm Wednesdays in 226 Weill Hall. All graduate students give seminars to present their research progress. Students join the cycle in their second year and present their work at least once a year. Second year students are only expected to give a half hour talk. Students in their final semester are not required to give a field seminar but can opt out of presenting ONLY IF they plan to give a B-exam seminar during that same semester. In such cases, the student must have set a specific date for their B-exam with the approval of their committee and also must notify the Graduate Field Assistant prior to the start of the semester.

A draft schedule of Field seminar assignments will be circulated at the beginning of each Academic year. Students should notify the Graduate Field Assistant if they have a scheduling conflict with their assigned slot. Once the schedule is set at the beginning of the semester, students that want to reschedule their talk must find another student willing to switch slots with them. Students will be given ample notice of the date of their seminar, and must submit a title and short abstract to the Graduate Field Assistant (Room 107) one week before their talk so that it can be distributed to members of the Field. Please note that attendance will be taken at the Wednesday Field Seminars (you must register for this course); students are required to attend at least 2/3 of the seminars in order to receive a satisfactory grade in BioMG7860.

Journal Clubs

Participation is on a voluntary basis, but you are encouraged to attend the Journal Clubs in your area of interest. Below are some of the Journal Clubs that meet on a regular basis:

Bacterial Genetics Journal Club – Steve Winans,
Cell Biology Journal Club – Tony Bretscher,
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology Journal Club – Kathie Burdick,
Cornell Vertebrate Genomics Meeting – Charlotte Williams,
Developmental Biology Journal Club – Kelly Liu,
Environmental Microbiology Journal Club – Esther Angert,
Eukaryotic Gene Regulation Journal Club – John Lis,
Molecular Evolution Journal Club – Charles Aquadro,
Neuroethology Journal Club – Carl D. Hopkins,
Repair, Replication & Genetic Recombination Group - see
Reproductive Biology Journal Club – John Schimenti,
Sexual Selection Journal Club – Mariana Wolfner,
Virology Journal Club – Colin Parrish,
Topics in Quantitative Genomics – Jason Mezey,
Cornell Stem Cell Program Meeting – Alex Nikitin,