Senator Hwang, co-chair of the CT General Assembly bipartisan BioScience Caucus addressed the annual Health Partnership in Innovation and Education (PIE) Fellowship at the UConn’s John Dempsey Medical Center.
The PIE Fellowship is a mentored fellowship for students from six of Connecticut’s undergraduate and graduate institutions, focused on innovation in Bioscience and Technology. Doctoral and undergraduate participants spend the summer developing an area of focus and doing research to support that focus. Even high school students can get involved as mentees of the fellows participating in the program.
Senator Hwang reviewed a presentation on Youth Suicide Prevention through Diagnostic Tools during medical examinations and questionnaires. Hwang interacted with of the presenter, Jasmine Patel, BS candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience at Trinity College, who worked in concert with her mentor from CT Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), to talk about her research. Jasmine’s research centered on preventing suicide in children and adolescents, by creating a type of checklist which includes several questions, with responses rated 1 to 5, that could help in early diagnosis of suicidal tendencies. Early intervention is key to preventing suicide, and Jasmine’s work, collaborating with CCMC and other students, could undoubtedly help in the fight to end suicide. As a proud supporter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Senator Hwang was glad to see that Connecticut’s talented students were putting their effort toward preventing such a terrible phenomenon.
The Innovation Fellows Research Day is the annual symposium where students present their work to fellow students, mentors and guests. Senator Hwang was glad to see the types of innovations in technology that Connecticut students are working on. “Bioscience is a dynamic growth industry that will be necessary in the 21st and beyond, and it is an industry that we excel at in Connecticut. We need to capitalize and develop the great talent and institutions we have so that we continue to lead and grow this promising sector of innovation,” said Hwang. “The PIE participants are doing exceptional work that is so important and I thank them for their outstanding efforts. As legislators, my colleagues and I need to work just as hard to develop a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem to attract scientists, businesses and entrepreneurs to our state to maintain and build on our world leadership position on bioscience and genomic research.”