Mission and History
An autonomous faculty program, the Eberly College of Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has been bringing esteemed guest speakers to Penn State's University Park campus since 1982 through the venue of the Summer Symposium in Molecular Biology.
Each year the subject matter changes based on the research interests of the faculty organizers. Past topics have included comparative and functional genomics, metallobiochemistry, chromatic and epigenetic regulation of transcription, inflammation, innate immunity and disease, nutrition, genes and physical activity, and xenobiotic receptors in toxicology and carcinogenesis. On average, over 200 individuals attend this annual event.
Typically three to four consecutive days in June, July or August, there are often three to five oral presentation sessions, a poster session on submitted abstracts, an industrial exhibit featuring latest biotechnology-oriented products and services, and one to two evening keynote speakers. The latter sessions are open to the general public.
The Summer Symposium is known to be a valuable resource for graduate education at Penn State and throughout the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and Canada. This internationally known program has the following objectives:
- broaden the body of knowledge relating to the Symposium theme;
- provide a vehicle for information exchange and technology transfer between Penn State and other academic and industrial communities;
- provide an internationally recognized forum for molecular biology and biotechnology research and education, financially accessible to undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars who together comprise 75% of the attendees.