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UPR students earn high marks at biomedical research event


Fifteen undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) represented the University of Puerto Rico at the recent Annual Biomedical Research for Minority Students event in Anaheim, California.

By The Star Staff


The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) obtained the most significant number of awards during the Annual Biomedical Research for Minority Students (ABRCMS) event held in Anaheim, California from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12.


Fifteen undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) represented the university, UPR President Luis A. Ferrao Delgado said.


“We are proud of the achievements obtained by the students during the largest event in the United States …” he said. “This victory fills us with hope. Furthermore, witnessing the educational progress of our university students in such an important competition, which will benefit them in their professional preparation, is a joy.”


Oreste Quesada, executive vice president of academic affairs and research at UPR, said “the record for scientific papers presented in person was again broken.”


Participants presented 3,500 and 180 virtual presentations in biochemistry, cancer, biology, cell biology, chemistry, developmental biology and genetics, immunology, microbiology, engineering physics and mathematics, neurosciences, physiology, and behavioral sciences.


“This time we competed in seven of 12 categories or research areas,” Ferrao said.


Quesada added that 681 exhibitors from universities, research centers and educational, pharmaceutical and federal scientific research agencies attended the conference.


He said that over four days, the students presented research papers that professors from various educational institutions and universities around the United States evaluated. As a result, these colleges are recruiting the best talent for their institutions.


“I congratulate the students who stood out in the event: Amanda Conde and Leonard Lizardi, Río Piedras campus, in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology; Adriana Barreiro and Adriana Vargas, Río Piedras campus, in the area of cell biology; Coral Castro Ruiz, Mayagüez campus, and María Vélez Colón, Ponce campus, in the area of computational and systems biology; Valerie Reyes Ortiz from the Cayey campus, in the area of neurosciences; Adrianisee Vega and Isabel Castro, Río Piedras campus, and Stephanie Hernández, Humacao campus, in the area of cancer biology; Luis Amundaray, Ponce campus, and Ruth González, Cayey campus, in the area of microbiology; Paola Rivera from the Humacao campus and Juan Rosa, from the Cayey campus, in an electronic poster; and Paola Miranda Castrodad from the Cayey campus, who was recognized for her research poster,” Quesada said.


Most students are participants in the Minority Access to Research Career (MARC) and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) undergraduate research programs, which are funded through the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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