Pine Manor partners with Tufts

The Biology Department at Pine Manor College submitted a grant proposal to the NIH under the BUILD initiative. We are awaiting review of our proposal and hope to launch this site in the near future.

Pine Manor is proud to partner with the the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine, our Research Partner. 

Our Research Training Core is the heart of the BUILD network initiatives. There are four separate and distinct progressive mentored research experiences for BUILD Scholars, termed STEP 1 – STEP 4. They will take place initially at Pine Manor involving both Pine Manor and Sackler faculty, but the 3rd and 4th research experiences will take place in specific labs of Sackler researchers. We have a rich history with Sackler faculty and trainees and are building on this history to offer these research experiences.

We will encourage the students to interact with the BUILD community by using the interactive blog to discuss their projects in all of the four research experiences.

Over the past years, numerous initiatives between Pine Manor's Biology Program and Sackler's faculty and trainees have built a rich interactive network facilitated by participants who share a common goal and productive working relationships. These initiatives have enriched our students and our program faculty while offering teaching and mentoring experiences for graduate, medical and nutrition students and postdoctoral trainees. Our Pine Manor students have benefitted from numerous research internships in the Sackler labs and courses taught by Sackler faculty and trainees. Role models and career guidance are a clear benefit for our students. This partnership will provide support for BUILD students to grow in knowledge and skills as researchers and to launch them into post baccalaureate programs or PhD programs.

Sackler is home to the biomedical science PhD programs at Tufts and is based on the Health Sciences Campus of Tufts University in downtown Boston. Sackler sits in the midst of a vibrant center of biomedical research. This environment is enriching and invigorating for our Pine Manor students. Those who have done internships on the campus are enthusiastic and they bring this energy into the classroom and to their discussions with their peers. The work they are doing and the mentors who are guiding them frequently are woven into course discussions or informal gatherings.

The Health Sciences Campus is home to Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC), the major teaching affiliate of TUSM, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, the School of Dental Medicine, the Jean Mayer-USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and the NIH-funded Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Research institutes located within Tufts MC, including the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, the Molecular Oncology Research Institute and the Mother-Infant Research Institute add depth and focus as does the HNRCA, one of six USDA-funded nutrition research centers in the US. Most of the 200 Sackler faculty members are based in these laboratories. More than 220 graduate students are enrolled at the Sackler School and nearly 400 postdoctoral fellows are training on the Health Sciences Campus. This environment is student-focused and provides strong training in biomedical research. TUSM and Tufts Medford Campus have made institutional commitments to maintaining a vibrant research environment.

Director of Research Component of BUILD
Laura Liscum, Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Pine Manor College

Dr. Liscum received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 1982 and then did postdoctoral work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the direction of Michael Brown, MD, and Joseph Goldstein, MD. She joined the TUSM faculty in 1985 and was promoted to Professor in 1997. Dr. Liscum has significant experience in graduate education. She was Director of the Cellular and Molecular Physiology graduate program from 2001 to 2010. Dr. Liscum has extensive experience in undergraduate research training. She has mentored many undergraduates in her laboratory. She has been a research mentor and small group leader for Tufts’ Building Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences (BDBS) summer undergraduate research program, and was named BDBS Director in 2011.

Dr. Liscum also directs a Pathway to the PhD research enrichment program for undergraduates at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a local undergraduate institution with a large diverse population. In this three-week program, Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences doctoral students lead the undergraduates in laboratory experiments, giving hands-on training in the scientific method and critical research techniques. Faculty members offer career development workshops and introduce the undergraduates to research training opportunities. This program, which received an American Association of Medical Colleges Innovation Award in 2013, will serve as a template for STEP-One and STEP-Two activities.

Dr. Liscum’s ties to Pine Manor College date back to 2007, when she and Dr. Susan Bear developed a Pathophysiology course for Pine Manor Biology majors. In alternate years, Drs. Liscum and Bear mentor TUSM medical students, and doctoral students from the Sackler School and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to team teach a course that covers six diseases that disproportionately affect African-American and Latina women. Development of this course was supported by a 2007 Innovation in Education grant from TUSM. In recognition of her contribution to the Pine Manor educational mission, Dr. Liscum was appointed Adjunct Professor of Biology in 2014.