2012 UT Metroplex Day draws record-high turnout
The 2012 Metroplex Day, held February 4 at UT Arlington's E.H. Hereford University Center, brought together students and faculty from UT Arlington, UT Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for a day of lectures and camaraderie, and gave students a chance to show off their research and explore opportunities for collaboration with those from the other institutions.
"Relative to the previous Metroplex Days, we had a record number of registrants, with 335, and poster submissions, with 135, for this one," said Robert Gatchel, UT Arlington distinguished professor and former chair of the Department of Psychology. "This event was another testimony to the increase in the cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and collaboration among the three major UT universities in North Texas."
The day's keynote speaker, Sean Mackey of Stanford University, an expert in pain management, spoke about "Neuroimaging of Pain: The Strain in Pain Lies Mainly in the Brain." Mackey, a doctor and director of the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab as well as chief of the university's pain management division, said that pain affects 116 million Americans a year, with direct and indirect medical expenses of $560-630 billion a year.
"Pain can become a disease in its own right," Mackey said. "Neuroimaging of the brain is now advancing our understanding of the mechanisms of pain."
Faculty members from each institution, including UT Arlington assistant professor of biology Jeff Demuth, gave talks, and a poster contest was held with cash awards going to the top two posters from each institution.
For UT Arlington, first place went to Samara Morris Bobzean, a graduate research assistant, for her project, "Influence of Estrogen on Morphine Reward," which she co-authored with Christian Chance, Torry Dennis and assistant psychology professor Linda Perrotti. Second place went to Eldon Prince for his project, "A Complex Genetic Architecture Underlies Variation in Dog Morphology," which he co-authored with John Fondon.