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Students Receive Awards at National Research Conference

Two California State University, Long Beach students received awards for outstanding posters and a third student received an award for outstanding oral presentation at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Florida recently.

  • Christian Aguilera received the Outstanding Poster in the Microbiological Sciences award for his poster “ENV6, a Constitutively Expressed Yeast Gene Involved in Vacuolar Functions” (Editte Gharakhanian, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences). 
  • Theresa Austria earned the Outstanding Poster in the Molecular Biological Sciences for her poster “Aglycosylated Antimannan Antibody M1ig1 has a Reduced Ability to Mediate Complement Activation and Phagocytosis”  (Mason Zhang, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences). 
  • Marc Quijano received the Outstanding Presentation in the Molecular Biological Sciences award for his presentation “The Relationship between Tectonic Plate Activity and Genetic Variability in the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis” (James Archie, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences).

In all, 11 CSULB students’ papers were peer reviewed and selected for presentation at the conference along with students from several other colleges and universities who worked with CSULB faculty advisers.  In addition to Aguilera, Quijano and Austria, the following students presented:

  • Edsel Abud – “Radical Chemistry of Aliphatic-Aromatic Nitrosamines in Water as Model Compounds for Tobacco-Specific Carcinogens” (Stephen Mezyk, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Chemistry and Biochemistry).
  • Timothy Feliciano – “Free Radical Chemistry of Anesthetics in Water:  Investigating the Toxicity of Degradation Products”  (Stephen Mezyk, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Chemistry and Biochemistry).
  • Meredith Flores, Stephan Meister, and Selina Bopp -- “Knock-out of Essential Liver Stage P. yoelli Genes”  (Dr. Elizabeth Winzeler – faculty research adviser, The Scripps Research Laboratory).
  • Tami Gonzalez, Jesus Reyes, and Mark Drawbridge – “Stress-induced Alterations in Plasma Corisol Concentrations in an Economically Important Vertebrate Model System” (Kevin Kelley, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences).
  • Maria Rios (Cerritos College) – “Patterns of Genetic Differentiation among Mountaintop Populations of Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) Do Not Support a Post-Pleistocene Range Expansion”  (James Archie, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences).
  • Jessica Ruiz (Long Beach City College) – “Triserine Lactone Ligands for Use in Molecular Recognition and Asymmetric Catalysis” (Eric Marinez, PhD, – faculty research adviser; Chemistry and Biochemistry).
  • Thara Sam – “Isolation of Sex-specific DNA Fragments in the Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana) using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism”  (James Archie, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences).
  • Brenda Velis – “Confirming Microarray Expression Data for Chloroplast Proteases using Real Time PCR” (Judith Brusslan, PhD, – faculty research adviser, Biological Sciences).

The ABRCMS Conference is the largest multidisciplinary student conference in the United States. Each year, the conference attracts approximately 2,600 individuals, including 1650 undergraduate students, 300 graduate students/ postdoctoral scientists and 750 faculty and administrators.  This year, the conference selected 1200 submissions for scientific poster presentations and 80 as oral presentations.

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