REU Participants Attend ABRCMS; Two Receive Awards

REU Group Photo 2013

The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) brings together over 2000 undergraduate students from across the nation, who meet to share the fruits of their research and learn about educational and job opportunities in the biomedical sciences. This year’s conference was held Nov. 13-16 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was attended by five students from The University of Iowa’s “Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Microbiology,” which receives funding from the National Science Foundation. The students were accompanied by faculty member David Weiss, who serves as co-director of the REU. All five participants presented posters on research they had conducted under the direction of faculty in the Department of Microbiology. Lauren Gentles won an award for her poster. Lauren is a senior at the University of Arkansas and did her research in Dr. Chioma Okeoma’s laboratory. Her poster was titled, “TLR4-mediated immune-virologic parameters during CHIKV infection in vivo.” Gabriela Kaus, a senior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, won a travel award. Gabriela did her research in Dr. Linda McCarter’s laboratory. Her poster was titled, “Expanding the Scr c-di-GMP responsive regulatory circuit controlling swarming and sticking."

Regarding this year’s REU, Dr. Weiss stated, “It was incredibly gratifying to watch these talented young men and women mature into scientists over the course of the summer. They are, quite literally, the future of our discipline.”

Pictured here (left to right) are: Krizia Pérez (University of Puerto Rico-Humacao), who worked with Dr. Alex Horswill; Gabriela Kaus (Whitman College), who worked with Dr. Linda McCarter; Lauren Gentles (University of Arkansas), who worked with Dr. Chioma Okeoma; Chris Bolden (University of Southern Mississippi), who worked with Dr. Patrick Schlievert; Levi Blue (Clemson University), who worked with Dr. Craig Ellermeier; and Dr. David Weiss (University of Iowa).