Dr. Dana Schneeberger recognizes the strong diversity and inclusive culture at Lerner as building blocks for her success
University where PhD was obtained: I obtained my PhD from Cleveland State University in May of 2012.
When did you work in Lerner and in which lab? What positions did you hold? I completed my doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Christine Moravec (2006-2012). I continued my work in the Moravec Lab as a Visiting Researcher for almost a year. In 2013 I joined the laboratory of Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte as a Postdoctoral Fellow, where I stayed until 2015.
Work at Lerner: As a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Christine Moravec, I studied autonomic dysregulation in end-stage heart failure patients waiting for transplantation. I explored whether these patients could be trained to bring non-voluntary physiologic functions under conscious control using biofeedback-assisted stress management and whether this noninvasive method of autonomic regulation would also improve clinical status and reverse key hallmarks of the heart failure phenotype.
As a postdoc in Dr. Piedimonte’s lab, I studied the interactions between genetic and environmental factors taking place during fetal development and shortly after birth that determine a child’s risk for developing chronic airway diseases like asthma. As part of this work I explored the potential for neurotrophins as a biomarker to help identify premature babies who are likely to have poor long-term respiratory outcomes and therefore require earlier and more intense intervention.
Successes while at Lerner: I was given many opportunities to succeed during my time in Lerner. I presented countless posters, published over 20 abstracts and manuscripts and gave 4 invited talks. I received multiple graduate student travel awards and a best student paper award. I was a finalist for the Young Investigator Award at the Bakken Heart-Brain Summit in 2009, and I received a Doctoral Dissertation Research Expense Award from Cleveland State University in 2010.
New position title: I am currently a Research Program Manager in the Center for Clinical Research.
New role description and favorite part: In my current role, I am managing two tremendous projects – the roll-out of LabArchives, an electronic laboratory notebook service and the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository, an enterprise-wide collection of human biospecimens and clinical data for research.
My favorite part of my role is making processes more efficient. LabArchives uniquely empowers investigators to streamline their workflows, and the biorepository has the same global goal of process efficiency. With this project, I am fortunate to work with a team of teams, each with unique expertise that I can learn from and leverage in order to help build the required infrastructure for such a large-scale project. Many clinical discoveries are made through research with human biospecimens, and helping to facilitate the process by thinking through how to align our research goals with the world-class clinical care provided at Cleveland Clinic is incredibly engaging and rewarding.
Preparations provided at Lerner: In a word – people. While in Lerner I was able to build a network of friends, colleagues and extraordinary mentors that went out of their way to help develop me as a scientist and put me in places where I could succeed. The strong diversity and inclusive culture of Lerner allowed me to work with many different people and personalities which is both an important life and work skill. And the generosity of our Cleveland Clinic patients who gifted biospecimens for research provided me with the opportunity to participate in translational research both as a graduate student and as a postdoc. The Lerner Research Institute is a safe and collaborative environment where you can thrive and create a career path that is best suited to your interests and skill set, and to this day I am still realizing the benefits of my time in Lerner.
What do you miss from your time at Lerner? The pot luck lunches for sure! With researchers and students from all over the world, these were always a unique opportunity to share other cultures and heritages through food.
Advice for current Lerner postdocs: Work hard, network, and never forget the power of serendipity.