UW students Klondy Canales, Annika Juhlin, Josh Matlock, and Nichole Tyler won awards at the 11th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) held Nov. 9-12, in St. Louis, Mo.
They were among a group of eight students affiliated with OMA&D’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), Stipends for Training Aspiring Researchers (STAR) and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) that attended the conference designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
Joining Canales, Juhlin, Matlock and Tyler in St. Louis were seniors Denise Della, Aislinn Hays, Raymond Koopmans, and Willimark Obenza. Over 3,000 students, faculty, program directors and administrators from 350 U.S. colleges and universities attended the four-day conference, with more than 1,400 students participating in poster and oral presentations.
“The students benefitted tremendously from exposure to their first national research conference,” IMSD program director Teri Ward said. “They presented their work to an audience of experts and peers in their field from around the nation; participated in workshops for graduate programs and admissions requirements; and met with recruiters, faculty, and students affiliated with several programs across the country.”
Canales, a junior pre-science major, won the Immunology Poster Award for her research on “Characterizing Pathogenic B Cells that Cause Autoimmune Diabetes.” Juhlin, a senior bioengineering major, won the Development Biology and Genetics Poster Award for her research titled “An Alternatively Spliced Isoform of Tumor Suppressor Lkb1Kinase is Induced in Mouse Embryonic Diapause.”
Matlock, a senior majoring in both biology and psychology, won the Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics Oral Presentation and Interdisciplinary Awards for his research on “The Effect of sTnC Variants on Contraction in Rabbitt Psoas Muscle Fibers.” Tyler, a senior bioengineering major, won an Interdisciplinary Award for her research based on “Bio-inspired Wet Reversible Adhesives, A Medical Application Designed to Mimic Nature.”
The students all collaborate closely with faculty mentors on their research projects. Canales worked with Dr. Abel Hamad from the Department of Pathology at John Hopkins University’s School of Medicine last summer. Juhlin works with Dr. C. Anthony Blau in the UW Department of Hematology, while Matlock and Tyler work with Dr. Michael Regnier and Dr. Wendy Thomas, respectively, in the UW Department of Bioengineering.
“Faculty mentors model the role of a research scientist in academia while encouraging and motivating students to pursue science,” Ward said. “In addition, they provide guidance in assisting students to achieve their research, educational, and personal goals.”