Science Career Panel

Science Career Panel

SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

The MPFI Scientific Career Panel is an opportunity for high school students in Palm Beach County to meet and interact with Max Planck scientists. Students will hear from scientists who are in different stages of training, from undergraduate interns to postdoctoral fellows. They will discuss what inspired them to choose a career in science, and the educational and research backgrounds that got them to where they are today.

The 2019 Scientific Career Panel will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The day will feature a tour of a laboratories and core facilities, lunch, and a discussion session with scientists. Palm Beach County High Schools can apply to attend MPFI’s Science Career Panel via the application link below. Before applying, please select up to ten students and one teacher chaperone. Teachers should register themselves, their students, and submit their answer to the application question below (one application entry per school) by Friday, September 6, 2019. High schools will be selected based on the answers to the application question. Priority will be given to those schools who were not selected to participate last year. Selected schools will be notified no later than Friday, September 13, 2019. Please contact us with any questions at

Application Question: Why do you think it is important for your students to meet scientists and see first-hand how a neuroscience research institute like MPFI operates?

Apply for Career Day 2019

Career Panel 2018


2019 Panelists

Melissa Ryan

Melissa Ryan joined the Max Planck Florida Institute in July 2018 as a post-baccalaureate research fellow in the Electron Microscopy Core working on a project for the Fitzpatrick lab. Her research investigates relationship of form and function of neurons in the primary visual cortex to better understand how cells integrate information. Her work in the lab involves acquisition and analysis of volume electron microscopy data for correlative light and electron microscopy. Melissa received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Psychology from Christopher Newport University in 2018.

Dr. Mary Phillips

Dr. Mary Phillips earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her graduate work defined a novel brain circuit responsible for storing social memories, and described its role in social phenotypes observed in a mouse model of an autism associated disorder. She recently joined the Neural Signal Transduction laboratory led by Dr. Ryohei Yasuda at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. Here, she will develop tools to selectively perturb synaptic plasticity of specific synapses while mice interact in order to further define how social information is stored in the brain. In addition to her scientific efforts, Dr. Phillips leads the PostDoc / Graduate Student mentorship program at MPFI and is active in outreach efforts.

Dr. Ken Dawson-Sculley

Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully received his PhD from the University of Toronto. He came to FAU in 2008 and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a faculty member of the newly formed International Max Planck Research School for Brain and Behavior. Dawson-Scully currently serves in a joint administrative appointment between Florida Atlantic University and the Max Planck Florida Institute working as a liaison between the two institutes to foster and prioritize partnerships in education, research, infrastructure, and regional affairs.

Dawson-Scully’s laboratory investigates ways to protect the brain from neurodegeneration as a result of acute and/or chronic cellular stress. His research has identified a number of molecular targets that can rescue high temperature, low oxygen and oxidative stress in the invertebrate nervous system as a model for human diseases, such as stroke, epilepsy, and most recently migraine, which has led to an FAU Tech Runway start-up company called Neuropharmalogics Inc.

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