The UTSA College of Sciences held the 2014 Research Conference “Excellence in Basic and Translational Science Research” at the HEB University Center on October 3, 2014. Several biomedical engineering undergraduate students presented their work in the form of judged poster presentations. The following BME students won awards.
Marissa Wechsler (Class of 2015), 1st place, Regenerative and Molecular Medicine poster contest
Wechsler is mentored by Dr. Rena Bizios, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and presented her project entitled “Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation Monitored by Single Cell Gene Expression Analysis”.
Rita Thornton (Class of 2015), 1st place, Computer Science and Mathematics poster contest
Thornton is mentored by Dr. Ender Finol, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and presented her project entitled “Pull-off Stress Assessment of Commercial Wound-Treatment Bandages”.
Krysta Amezcua (Class of 2016) 1st place, Physics & Astronomy and Nanotechnology poster contest
Amezcua is also mentored by Dr. Ender Finol and presented her project entitled “3D Reconstruction of Patient-Specific Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm”.
“We in the department are very proud of these student achievements, ” said Dr. Joo L. Ong, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “The fact that three of our students won 1st place awards at the 2014 College of Science Research Conference reflects the quality and competitiveness of our biomedical engineering students.”
Dr. Bizios added, “We are very proud of our students and wish them continuous success in their academic and, later on, in their professional careers.”
The three winners are currently supported by the Maximizing Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research (MARC U STAR) and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs, which are funded by the National Institute of General Medicine (NIGMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health. This funding provides the fundamental training needed by students to enter, and succeed, in graduate school.
“Undoubtedly, the success of these students is due in great part to the comprehensive research training program MARC U STAR/RISE has put together, offering unique opportunities for undergraduate minority students to be involved in research early in their academic programs,”said Dr. Finol.