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Students rock worldwide biomedical conference

WSSU ABRCMS contingent at conference in Florida.

Students from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) wowed a crowd of more than 3,500 attendees during an international biomedical research conference, bringing home three top awards.

Twenty-two WSSU MARC U*STAR and NIGMS-RISE undergraduate program participants, and one graduate student competed with over 3,000 undergraduate students from more than 700 universities and colleges at the 16th annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) conference in Tampa.

Lanazha Belfield

Many of the students participate in programs offered through WSSU’s Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center (BRIC), which trains students interested in biomedical sciences and to help them thrive in a dynamic society by contributing to the body of knowledge in biomedicine.

“We are using the co-curricular activities through high-impact practices to build knowledge and intellect as well as interpersonal skills. The conference is part of the paradigm of students’ professional training and development,” said Dr. Azeez Aileru, WSSU professor of neuroscience and director of BRIC’s NIH-funded MARC U*STAR and NIGMS-RISE programs.

Three WSSU MARC U*STAR scholars won the best poster and oral presentation awards: Lanazha Belfield (senior, biology major, Best Oral Presentation Award in Physiology), Beverly Dosso (senior, chemistry major, Best Poster Award in Cancer Biology), and Victoria Sedwick (senior, Chemistry major, Best Poster Award in Chemistry).

Beverly Dosso

The conference, which concluded on Nov. 12, included workshops, scientific presentations, professional development opportunities and networking events.

“This year, ABRCMS featured plenary sessions and concurrent presentations by leading thinkers and investigators,” said Dr. Patricia Flowers, the program coordinator for BRIC.

Victoria Sedwick

The students made a positive impression even before they left the Triad. While at the ticket counter at the Piedmont-Triad International Airport, the students let a traveler go in front of them. Later, the traveler was revealed to be Bowman Gray IV, great-grandson of former R.J. Reynolds chairman and namesake for WSSU’s football stadium. WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson shared a letter he received from Gray on his Facebook page. Gray wrote: “They represented themselves, their school and our city in a way that should make us all very proud.”

For more information about BRIC, call Dr. Aileru at 336-761-5899.

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