2012 Annual Bio-medical Research Conference for Minortiy Students (ABRCMS) Novemeber 7th-10th, San Jose, California
ABRCMS, the largest professional conference of its kind in the nation, is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the bio-medical and behavioral sciences, including STEM disciplines; it also provides faculty with resources for facilitating student success. More than 3,400 people attended ABRCMS in 2012, including approximately 2,100 students, 550 faculty and program directors, and 540 recruiters for graduate and summer research programs. More than 1,700 of the attending students participated in poster and oral presentations in 12 sub-disciplines of the bio-medical and behavioral sciences. All undergraduate and post-baccalaureate presentations were evaluated by active-researcher scientists, and the students with the highest scores in each scientific discipline and for each educational level received monetary awards. Twenty-five organizations contributed to awards of $250 each to 277 students for outstanding research, and the awards for the microbiology discipline — sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and New York University School of Medicine, Sackler Institute of Graduate Bio-medical Sciences. Three students from Virginia Commonwealth University student researchers received awards.
Matthew Allen-Daniels, post-baccalaureate trainee in the VCU Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received an award in the microbiology research category for his poster presentation titled, “Identification and Characterization of Adhesions, and Other Virulence Factors in Mycoplasma That May Contribute to Pre-Term Birth.” Allen-Daniels’ mentor is Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in the VCU School of Medicine. The awards for this category were sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and New York University School of Medicine, Sackler Institute of Graduate Bio-medical Sciences.
La Shanale Wallace, post-baccalaureate trainee in the VCU Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, received an award for her poster presentation for a project in the cancer biology research category titled, “Effects of PI3K/AKT/mTOR Inhibitors on the MEK/ERK Pathway in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells.” Wallace’s mentors are Steven Grant, M.D., Shirley Carter Olsson and Sture Gordon Olsson chair in oncology research and associated director of translational research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center, and professor of internal medicine and hematology-oncology, and Mohamed Rahmani, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU School of Medicine. Wallace was recognized with an additional $50 for interdisciplinary research. The awards for this category were sponsored by the Gerstner Sloan-Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Benjamin Koppenhaver, a senior studying bioinformatics at VCU, received an award in the developmental biology and genetics research for his oral presentation of his project titled, “Role of KLF2 in Mouse Atrioventricular Canal Development." Koppenhaver’s mentor is Joyce Lloyd, Ph.D., professor of human genetics in the VCU School of Medicine. The awards for this category were sponsored by the Society for Developmental Biology and the Genetics Society of America.