2 0 1 7 A N N U A L R E P O R T 45 INSPIRING OTHERS The College of Medicine graduated its first two Ph.D. candidates in 2008 and has produced an average of about five a year since then. In 2017, Lataisia Jones became the first African-American to complete the program, earning her Ph.D. in neuroscience. Jones’ achievement became big news, in part because her sister shared it on Twitter – where it was shared more than 6,000 times. Soon, Jones was being contacted by aspiring young scientists worldwide seeking words of wisdom and encouragement. Jones, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., was more than happy to offer inspiration. SUPPORT FOR HEALTH TECHNOLOGY During her time at Florida State, she regularly visited elementary schools with predominantly minority students to pique their interest in science and inspire them about their The College of Medicine and the Florida A&M University /Florida State University College of Engineering entered future. “I think it is very important to have that pipeline created into a collaborative research partnership with Mayo Clinic in even as early as elementary school,” she said. “I fear for the Florida. The agreement involves financial support for FSU people who don’t have advisors like I did, who can guide researchers developing health technology breakthroughs with them toward their future and give them the knowledge and the potential for commercialization. motivation to do it on their own.” “It’s a unique partnership providing specific pathways for health technology developed at FSU to move toward the marketplace in a way that increases the likelihood of getting new ideas from the lab to where they can benefit patients,” Senior Associate Dean Jeffrey Joyce said. “We’ve never done anything like this before, and I’m excited about where this will lead.” Examples of recent collaborations between the medical and engineering schools include a novel therapy for treating metastatic cancers that would involve attaching tiny devices to white blood cells that can accumulate in tumors. Another project involves developing a novel in vitro Alzheimer’s disease model with artificial “organoids” that can be used for testing and identifying treatments. Under the agreement, Mayo could choose to provide financial support for the expensive process of taking such ideas from the lab to the marketplace.