UTSA students participate in UT System minority research conference

LSAMP students

UTSA LSAMP students at UT El Paso conference

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(Oct. 27, 2010)--Six undergraduate students in the UTSA Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program recently presented and defended their scientific research at the UT System statewide LSAMP conference hosted at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Each of the UTSA students were members of the Summer Research Academy (SRA) at UTSA. During the 10-week program, students participated in research with UTSA faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

"Giving underrepresented students the ability to explore undergraduate research is an invaluable opportunity," said Darrell Balderrama, director of outreach programs and LSAMP director in the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives. "I've seen how each student grows in depth of understanding and is able to apply their research findings to their overall educational and career goals. I'm truly proud of each LSAMP scholar."

The summer academy participants were offered the opportunity to apply competitively for a trip to the Science in Society Conference hosted in Madrid, Spain. This year's delegates will be Bethaney Watson, College of Sciences, and Andrew Baines, College of Engineering. The students and their faculty mentors will represent UTSA at the Madrid conference.

The 2010 LSAMP SRA cohort at UTSA pursued research on an array of topics, working alongside faculty mentors in the UTSA College of Sciences and College of Engineering. The participating students and their research topics were:

  • Michelle Salvador, electrical engineering major, faculty mentor: David Akopian, "Introducing Complex Communication Topics in Electrical Engineering to Young Students"
  • Bethaney Watson, cytogenetics major, faculty mentors: Richard LeBaron and Clyde Phelix, "Integrated Systems Biology Reveals Dynamics of TGF Signaling in Bone Cancer Treatment"
  • Dustin Edwards, electrical engineering major, faculty supervisor: Yufei Huang, faculty mentor: Dong Yue, "A Bayesian Decision Fusion Approach For MicroRNA Target Prediction"
  • Joaquin Labrado, electrical engineering major, faculty mentor: Mo Jamshidi, "Swarm Robotics"
  • Sandra G. Migliori, biomedical engineering major, graduate student mentor: Anand Srinivasan, faculty mentor: Anand Ramasubramanian, "Effect of Anti-fungals on Biofilms of Candida Albicans"
  • Andrew Baines, mechanical engineering major, faculty mentor: Harry Millwater, "Advanced Visualization Lab"

The UTSA LSAMP program enrolls new participants each semester and will accept applications beginning Nov. 1 for Summer Research Academy 2011. To learn more, contact Darrell Balderrama at 210-458-2697.