On a recent fall afternoon, Sanford-Burnham looked more like a United Nations summit than a medical research institute. One hundred students attending the 2012 International Fulbright Science & Technology Conference in Orlando gathered at Sanford-Burnham to discuss research trends and professional pathways available to those pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. All of the students were recipients of Fulbright’s International Science & Technology Awards and are pursuing their doctoral studies in the United States. They came from far-away places like Algeria, Estonia, Iraq, and Nepal, and now attend renowned universities such as the University of California, Berkeley, MIT, Stanford University, and Harvard University. The group’s visit to Medical City was organized by the Lake Nona Institute.
They toured Orlando’s burgeoning life science campus known as Medical City at Lake Nona and attended a panel discussion on science and technology innovation. Drs. Dan Kelly and Sheila Collins of Sanford-Burnham, Dr. M.J. Soileau, vice president of research and commercialization at the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Jason Eichenholz, divisional technology director at Ocean Optics, led the conversation. The panelists spoke about their professional development, how interdisciplinary collaboration drives innovation, and the role of technology in health care—today and in the future.