MSU Undergraduate Students and Program Directors Represent Morgan State University at the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle, Washington.
Now celebrating its anniversary year, ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students; http://www.abrcms.org/index.php/abrcms) is one of the largest, professional conferences for underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities to pursue advanced training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The 2014 ABRCMS conference was recently held in San Antonio, Texas November 12-16, attracted over 4,000 registered individuals, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists, faculty, program directors and administrators. Students attended from over 350 universities across the United States and its territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. These colleges include HBCUs and Hispanic Predominant schools but also many majority schools including Ivy League and other elite institutions.
The conference is designed to provide professional development training for underrepresented minority students interested in pursuing advanced training in STEM and 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 join ABRCMS in the exhibitors program to share information about graduate school and summer internship opportunities. During the conference, students participate in poster and oral presentations in 12 disciplines in the biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences. ABRCMS is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD), and it is managed by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Distinguished plenary speakers at this year's conference included: Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health; Hannah Valantine, M.D., Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health; Linda B. Buck, Ph.D., 2004 Nobel Prize laureate, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Human rights activist, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and advocate for social justice; David Quammen, noted author and three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award; and Patricia E. Molina, M.D., Ph.D., President of the American Physiological Society and Richard Ashman Professor and head of the Department of Physiology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans.
A total of 33 undergraduate students from 9 distinct majors (Biology, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Physical Education, Nursing, Sociology, and Medical Technology) at Morgan State University participated in the conference, and 9 of these presented their research in areas that included neuroscience, social and behavioral sciences and public health, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular and computational biology, and cancer biology 2015 ABRCMS conference. was awarded to Mr. Jamiu Giwa-Otusajo, a Biology senior supported by the NSF S-STEM STARS-1 Scholarship Program was awarded a full ABRCMS Student Travel Award, which covered the cost of airfare and hotel accommodations, to attend and present a poster presentations of his research entitled "Effect of Nitrogen Deprivation on the Photosynthetic Efficacy of Fremyella diplosiphon." These student scholars were all supported by 4 distinct student development and training programs under the direction of faculty at Morgan State University: the National Institute of General Medical Sciences NIGMS Program, directed by Drs. Christine Hohmann and Angela Winstead; the National Science Foundation S-directed by Drs. Jocelyn Turner-Musa and Cleo Hughes-Darden; and the National Science Foundation LS-STEM STARS-1 Scholarship Program, directed by Dr. Ernest C. Steele Jr., the ASCEND Scholars Program, AMP Program, directed by Dr. Cleo Hughes-Darden. The following individuals also provide invaluable coordination and support to these programs and their student scholars: Mrs. Marlene Peery (NIGMS Program Coordinator), Mrs. Acquanette Pinchback (ASCEND Program Coordinator), and Dr. Stella Hargett, Interim Chair of Sociology and Evaluator for the NIGMS Program. The following is a list of students that participated: