Research Students Gain Insights and Experience at National Science Conference


(LtoR) Back row: Francisco Bautista, Daniel Coello, Hugo Mora, Jeshua Avila. Front row: Eric Medina, Joselyn Yamamoto, Sheva Saif, Joshua Lozano, and Alexandria Tucker.

Nine undergraduate science students from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) gained valuable experience participating at the 2016 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) held Nov. 9-12 in Tampa, Florida.


Biology major Hugo Mora.

Reflecting this year’s theme, “Diverse Voices, Diverse Science: A Future of Excellence in STEM Research,” the four-day conference is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in STEM and provide faculty mentors and advisors with resources for facilitating students’ success. Now in its 16th year, the ABRCMS is the largest biomedical and behavioral sciences conference, attracting more than 4,000 participants—including students, faculty and administrators—from more than 350 colleges and universities nationwide.

Being able to attend and present at the ABRCMS conference, and hearing about the new and groundbreaking research being conducted around the nation, has strengthened my passion for research. I was able to exchange ideas with other researchers and enrich my support network,” said Joshua Lozano, a psychology major who gave the oral presentation “Investigating the Testing Effect with Recognition versus Cued Recall Tests” at the conference.


Biology major Daniel Coello.

Five of the CSUDH students at the conference are Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program scholars, while the other four are scholars in the Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) program. The CSUDH faculty in attendance were Leonardo Martinez, professor of chemistry and U*STAR/RISE program director; and Kenneth Rodriguez, assistant professor and U*STAR/RISE faculty liaison.

Including Lozano, seven CSUDH students presented posters or gave oral presentations at ABRCMS:

Biology Majors

  • Eric Medina, gave the oral presentation “Characterizing the Roles of Ezrin and Drebrin-like in Microridge Morphogenesis;”
  • Daniel Coello (U*STAR), “Characterization of activating mutations in Janus Tyrosine Kinases, in myeloproliferative neoplasm and angiosarcoma;”
  • Hugo Mora (RISE), “Analyzing the Effects of UL7 & Glycoprotein E Deletion on Cell to Cell Spread in HSV-1;”
  • Alexandria Tucker (RISE), “Distinct Subsets of Mammary Cancer Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells in Development of African American Aggressive Breast Tumors”


  • Jeshua Avila (U*STAR), “Stacking of Metallic Microarray Meshes to Probe the Molecular Interaction and Orientation Structure of Gramicidin D Incorporated within Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes by Infrared Microscopy”


  • Sheva Saif (RISE), “Purification of the Radical SAM Enzyme YydG and Characterization of its Reaction”

Biology major Alexandria Tucker.

Attending the ABRCMS gave Tucker the feeling that she was “ten steps closer” to a Ph.D.

“[The conference] rekindled my excitement toward going to grad school and becoming a researcher,” said Tucker. “It was inspiring to be in a positive environment, where I got to listen to speakers that achieved the work l aspire to do. I also got to network with my undergraduate peers who presented on similar research topics as I did.”


  1. Mohannad J. Yousef says:

    Congrats to all of you for representing CSUDH this way. You have made me very proud, Eric and Joselyn! You have shown so much growth in your research and critical thinking skills.

  2. What a great group of minds representing our campus. Well done!

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