Every year, an event in Frederick attracts people from all over the county. Amid its semi-festive atmosphere, attendees promenade through displays showcasing collaborative projects while speakers tell true stories of impressive feats and judges award prizes for outstanding handiwork. But it’s not the Great Frederick Fair—it’s the Fort Detrick Spring Research Festival.
For the twenty-third straight year, the festival brought together Fort Detrick researchers and Frederick County citizens for a multi-day scientific exhibition that publicizes the endeavors of the fort’s resident institutes and celebrates the collaboration that makes their achievements possible.
Scientists at NCI at Frederick and the Frederick National Laboratory participated alongside colleagues from six other institutes, including the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center.
Day one of the festival opened with a morning poster blitz, in which 10 researchers explained their work to an audience in five-minute mini-lectures. Afterward, a forum spotlighted three scientists who made scientific advancements as part of the collaborative National Interagency Confederation for Biomedical Research.
The second day offered more showcases, including a symposium that featured successful projects by postbaccalaureate and postdoctoral researchers and a mini-symposium that highlighted collaborative technologies and services available at the Frederick National Laboratory.
Day two also featured the festival’s keynote address by Robert “Chip” Schooley, M.D., vice chair for Academic Affairs of the Department of Medicine and professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego. Schooley delivered his presentation, “Bacteriophage Therapy for the Treatment of Serious Bacterial Infections: What Have We Learned and What Don’t We Know?” to a nearly full house.
On both days, a biomedical equipment expo attracted Fort Detrick personnel, vendors, regional colleges, and community groups, giving all a chance to browse wares, watch technological demonstrations, and discuss partnerships.
A poster display rounded out each day. There, researchers ranging from student interns to career scientists showed off 120 posters on a myriad of topics, such as first aid, genetics, and molecular microscopy.
The festival concluded with an awards ceremony that recognized exceptional presentations and posters. In total, 22 people received awards, including 12 NCI at Frederick and Frederick National Laboratory staff and student interns:
- Alexis Adkins (intern), Outstanding Poster: Developmental and Cell Biology
- Nour Ali (intern), Outstanding Poster: Structural Biology and Chemistry
- Elvira An, Outstanding Poster: Clinical Research
- Christian Louis Bonatto Paese, Outstanding Presentation
- Amy Funk, Outstanding Presentation
- Hadley Humbertson (intern), Outstanding Poster: Emerging Technologies
- Camryn Isemann (intern), Outstanding Poster: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Emily Lutz (intern), Outstanding Poster: Cancer Biology
- Richard Ma (intern), Outstanding Poster: Gene Therapy, Genome Editing, and Genetics
- Ahlam Majadly (intern), Outstanding Poster: Infectious Pathogens and Epidemiology
- Pedro Torres-Ayuso, Outstanding Presentation
- Sevilay Turan, Outstanding Poster: Scientific Core Services
Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and commanding general of USAMRMC and Fort Detrick, presented the awards.