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UMBC Excels at National Student Research Conference

ABRCMS2008.jpgPhoto Caption: UMBC students, staff and faculty pause for a group picture to celebrate their ABRCMS excellence.

UMBC and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences were well represented at the 2008 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the largest multidisciplinary student conference in the United States. UMBC students – including Meyerhoff, MARC U*STAR and HHMI scholars -- received nearly 10 percent of the overall awards given at the event.

45 UMBC undergraduates and three graduate students were selected to present their research at the ABRCMS, which was held Nov. 5 – 8 in Orlando, FL and featured UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski as a keynote speaker. The annual event is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The ABRCMS’s goal is to support the success of students pursuing advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences.

At the conference’s closing ceremony, UMBC students received 11 of the 120 awards that were given in ten categories to recognize the most outstanding presentations among the excellent 1200 undergraduate posters and 80 oral talks:

Biochemical Sciences - Nicholas Pinkin, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, oral presentation; George Cutsail, M18, MARC Scholar, poster presentation; Yohance Allette, M18, MARC Scholar poster presentation.

Cell Biology - Ashleigh Bouchelion, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, poster presentation

Molecular Biology - Gowry Kulandaivel, M19, poster presentation

Chemical Sciences - Melvin Velasquez, M18, MARC Scholar, poster presentation

Microbiological Sciences - Gabrielle McRae, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, poster presentation

Neuroscience - Sara Stockman, M19, poster presentation

Physiological Sciences - Anupama Divakaruni, M19, poster presentation

Quantitative Sciences - Richard Blissett, poster presentation

Developmental - Alexandria Scott, M18, MARC, HHMI Scholar, oral presentation

“I was so impressed by our students who participated in the ABRCMS,” said Hrabowski. “I must give special kudos to the faculty members who mentor these students: Lasse Lindahl for his special leadership of the MARC program, and to Ernie Baker, LaMont Toliver, and all our colleagues for their work associated with undergraduate research such as the MARC and Meyerhoff scholars programs.”

“I received several comments about the excellent performance of our students,” said Lasse Lindahl, professor and chair of biological sciences, director of the MARC U*STAR program at UMBC, and organizer of UMBC’s participation in the conference. “I congratulate all award winners, but also want to thank the staff who provided excellent support for our large student group. Everyone reinforced the image of UMBC as a place where quality is expected and delivered.”

* UMBC Research News thanks Kahy Sutphin & Ernie Baker for help with this story.

Posted: November 12, 2008, 12:00 PM