Dr. Rosanne Aleong plays with IBM's NAO robot

Research trainees discover new career paths at the 2017 IPN Conference

(L-R: Case competition winners, Dr. Jenny Rieck and Dr. Derek Beaton, with IBM's NAO robot at the 2017 IPN Conference.

(L-R: Case competition winners, Dr. Jenny Rieck and Dr. Derek Beaton, with IBM’s NAO robot at the 2017 IPN Conference.

It sang, danced and even answered questions about the weather. IBM’s NAO robot, a machine that could one day be used as a support tool for mental health patients, was among the guest speakers at Baycrest’s Innovative Perspectives in Neuroscience (IPN) Conference on June 12.

About 60 students attended the one-day conference to hear about different career paths, network with various experts and watch two teams pitch case competition ideas to a panel of judges.

“Through the conference, attendees were shown tangible examples of how their post-graduate training can lead to stimulating, impactful and inspiring careers,” says Dr. Rosanne Aleong, conference co-organizer and Director of Research, Innovation & Translation at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI).

RRI postdoctoral fellow and one of the winners of the case competition, Dr. Jenny Rieck, says talking with experts during the networking lunch cleared up some of the myths she had heard about industry jobs. “It was nice hearing from people who had academic backgrounds and how they transitioned to roles that bridged the gap between industry and academia,” says Dr. Rieck.

Congratulations to the winners of the case competition: Team DHJ (Dr. Derek Beaton, Hans Melo and Dr. Jenny Rieck). The conference was sponsored by the Ontario Brain Institute, Rogue Research Inc. and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts and Science.