This past week, during November 13th through November 17th, 2013, Dr. Susan Webster and the MARC U*STAR & MBRS RISE Coordinators (Amy Reid and Courtney Aiken) had the pleasure of accompanying 16 FIU undergraduates including members of the MARC U*STAR, MBRS RISE, and QBIC Programs to the 2013 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Nashville, Tennessee.
Now in its 13th year, ABRCMS is the largest, professional conference for biomedical and behavioral students, including mathematics, attracting approximately 3,300 individuals, including 1,700 undergraduate students, 400 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists and 1,200 faculty, program directors and administrators. Students come from over 350 U.S. colleges and universities. All are pursuing advanced scientific training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and most have conducted research. The conference is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences as well as provide faculty mentors and advisors with resources for facilitating students’ success. More than 500 representatives from graduate programs at US colleges and universities as well as scientists from government agencies, foundations, and professional scientific societies joined ABRCMS in the exhibitors program. They shared information about graduate school, summer internship opportunities, research opportunities, funding sources, and professional networks.
During the four day conference, 1,800 students presented their research in twelve disciplines. Of those, ninety were chosen for oral presentations. All undergraduate student presentations were judged and special awards in each discipline were presented with an award during the Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, November 16th, 2013.
This conference was sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD) and managed by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
ABRCMS serves as a key stepping stone enhancing the scientific and professional development of young scientists. After participating in ABRCMS, all students are strongly encouraged to attend professional society meetings of their respective disciplines to continue their scientific and professional development.
We had the opportunity to see all the FIU oral and poster presentations; there were eight posters by the following students: Patricia Theard (MARC U*STAR & QBIC Scholar), Chavely Valdes Sanchez (MARC U*STAR & QBIC Scholar), Richard Barrios (MARC U*STAR & QBIC Scholar), Javier How (MBRS RISE & QBIC Scholar), Kevin Casin (MBRS RISE), Aisleen Diaz (MBRS RISE), Adriana Prado (FIU Undergraduate), Carmen Mulet (FIU Undergraduate), and two oral presentations by Nicole Millan (MBRS RISE) and Liana Apolis (MARC U*STAR & QBIC Scholar).
Two FIU undergraduates won prizes at ABRCMS for ‘Outstanding Scientific Poster Presentations’
The student winners are:
FIU MBRS RISE Fellow & QBIC Scholar
FIU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alexander Agoulnik, Human & Molecular Genetics
Scientific Discipline: Neuroscience
Columbia University Summer Research Presented
Major: Biological Sciences
FIU MARC U*STAR Fellow & QBIC Scholar
FIU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stanislaw Wnuk, Chemistry & Biochemistry and Environmental & Occupational Health
Penn State University Summer Research Presented
Scientific Discipline: Biochemistry
Double Major: Chemistry & Biological Sciences