DBU Welcomes Alumnus Dr. Michael Torres as Keynote Speaker for Annual Dr. Herbert Robbins Research Symposium

Herb Robbins 2022

On November 4th and 5th, the DBU College of Natural Science and Mathematics and Beta Beta Beta Biological Society sponsored the annual Dr. Herbert Robbins Research Symposium.

"The event is all about our outstanding students in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and the desire to glorify God in their academic journey," said Dr. Dion Fleitas, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "Some student presenters were spectators in the symposium a couple of years ago and never imagined the Lord would enable them to present high-level work at this symposium."

The symposium, held in honor of long-time DBU Dean of the College of Natural Arts and Mathematics Dr. Herbert Robbins, aims to not only provide students with the opportunity to hear from renowned keynote speakers, alumni, and partners, but also a platform upon which to share their personal findings with their peers. Dr. Herbert Robbins served as the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics from 1979 to to 1994 and is responsible for piloting the establishment of a strong allied health program and biology major on DBU's campus. Dr. Robbins faithfully led on campus until his retirement in 1997 and remained a friend of the university until his passing in 2000. In 2002, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics began hosting the "Herb Robbins Seminar," which would later be changed to the "Dr. Herbert Robbins Research Symposium" in 2009. Dr. Herbert was a gifted professor, loving husband to Esther, father to his five children, grandfather to his numerous grandchildren, and devoted servant of the Lord.

On Friday evening, the symposium began with a dinner held in the Great Hall on campus. Dr. Dion Fleitas and Dr. Jonathan Cooper, Chair of the Biology Department, welcomed all of those in attendance. Throughout the evening, students were able to hear from two current DBU students, one DBU partner, and two alumni members including Dr. Michael Torres who served as the event's keynote speaker.

Dr. Michael Torres earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dallas Baptist University in 2006. After concluding his time at DBU, Dr. Torres conducted a year-long research project at the National Cancer Institute prior to entering a Ph.D. Program. In 2014, Dr. Torres earned his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the U.T. Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Torres currently serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Texas Medical Center Innovation.

On Saturday, attendees had an early start as they partook in a light breakfast and Tri-Beta Coffee Fundraiser beginning at 8:30. Following breakfast, symposium members heard presentations from Dr. Jonathan Cooper, an additional DBU alumna, three current students, and concluded the event by hearing from Dr. Torres once again.

Dr. Torres presented on two topics-- "Keynote Address: Fireside Chat: My Journey from the Bench to Biotech Entrepreneur" on Friday evening and "ReCode Therapeutics: Delivering Genetic Medicines for the Treatment of Respiratory Diseases and Beyond" on Saturday morning.

Students and alumni presented their findings on a myriad of different subjects, including The Role of Autophagy in Osteoporosis (Preston Thomas Foster, current student), Survival of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli on In-shell Pecans in the Presence of Soil (Erin Ramsey, DBU alumna), Environmental Quality and Public Health (Jesus Lopez, current student), Surgical Pathology at the Gross Level (Mary Paige Dedeyan, current student), and more.

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.