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NEWS
   and Notes

  • Dr. N. Kent Peters and Dr. Brian Pike recently joined NIGMS as scientific review administrators in the Office of Scientific Review, where they manage the review of applications to the MORE Division as well as other selected grant applications.

    Peters was formerly a program director for metabolic biochemistry at the National Science Foundation. Before that, he was a professor in the department of chemistry and biotechnology at the Agricultural University of Norway. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan. He conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

    Pike was formerly a research assistant professor in the department of neuroscience at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in biological psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He conducted postdoctoral research in the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
     
  • Dr. Barry R. Komisaruk, a program director in the NIGMS MORE Division, received a 2002 National Role Model Mentoring Award. The award was presented by Minority Access, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization that assists Federal agencies, universities, and corporations to improve their recruitment, retention, and training of minority researchers.

    Komisaruk was cited for his 17 years of service on NIGMS’ MBRS grant at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. During his affiliation with the MBRS program at Rutgers, including 14 years as the grant’s principal investigator, Komisaruk mentored more than 100 minority students.

    Komisaruk was among 10 individuals selected for a mentoring role model award. He received the award during a ceremony at the National Role Models Conference in Washington, DC, in September.
     
  • Dr. Thomas Landefeld, the MARC and Bridges to the Baccalaureate program director at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), received the 2002 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Undergraduate Institution Mentor Award at the society’s annual meeting in September. The award recognizes individuals who have dedicated themselves to science, education, and mentoring and who serve as role models for the next generation of minority scientists. Landefeld is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and is a professor of biology at CSUDH.
     
  • Dr. Victoria Luine and Dr. Carol Woods Moore were honored as Outstanding Women Scientists in November by the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Luine is a professor of psychology and an MBRS program director at the City University of New York (CUNY), Hunter College. Moore, a medical professor, is a principal investigator on an MBRS grant at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the CUNY Medical School. Both were recognized for the exceptional quality of their scientific research and for their outstanding mentoring of women.
     
  • Barry University in Miami Shores, FL, marked the 20th year of its MARC program with a research symposium at the university in February. The symposium included research presentations by some of the 100-plus current and past MARC students. For more on the symposium, see http://www.barry.edu/marcsymposium.
     
  • Participants in the American Indian/Alaska Native Bridges to the Doctorate program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities met in October for their second annual project retreat. The retreat featured student and faculty research focused on Indian health. This Bridges program provides both cultural and academic support to students pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing.
     
  • Sederick C. Rice, a former MBRS program participant at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), was selected as one of Ebony magazine’s “Young Leaders of the Future.” Rice was featured in the magazine’s February issue among the top 30 individuals aged 30 and younger who have “excelled in sports, the arts, religion, medicine, business, and education.”

    Rice earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from UAPB in 1994. He went on to earn a master’s degree in biology from Delaware State University in 1996, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the department of pediatrics at UVM’s College of Medicine. Rice’s research focuses on the genetic effects of chemotherapy in children with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
     
  • Among the student participants in NIGMS’ minority programs who earned degrees recently are:

    Seven MARC undergraduate students at Delaware State University received their bachelor’s degrees in May and entered Ph.D. programs with scholarships this fall. Denise Davis received a degree in biology and is attending Yale University; Patrice Green received a degree in physics with an engineering emphasis and is attending the University of Delaware; Yvette Green received a degree in biology and is attending Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey/The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Shari Lee received a degree in biology and is attending the University of Pennsylvania; Darius Sanders received a degree in physics with an engineering emphasis and is attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Melissa Tamburo received a degree in psychology and is attending Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Aaron Williams received a degree in physics and is attending North Carolina State University.

    Two MBRS program participants at CUNY received doctoral degrees in biology. They are Angel Pimentel, who attended City College, and Melania Mercado Pimentel, who attended City College and Lehman College. Both began postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Arizona in September.

    Three MBRS program participants at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), received doctoral degrees during spring and summer commencement ceremonies. Abraham Anderson received a Ph.D. in bioengineering and is now a bioinformatics scientist at Torrey Mesa Research Institute in San Diego; Keith Reiling received a Ph.D. in biophysics and is performing postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley; and Christopher Reyes received a Ph.D. in biophysics and is performing postdoctoral research at UCSD.

    Two former MBRS program participants at Chicago State University who received Ph.D.s are Reginald Teverbaugh, whose Ph.D. in chemistry is from Northwestern University, and Chris Withers, whose Ph.D. in physics is from the University of Miami.

    Angela Erazo and Kester K. Haye, both MARC undergraduate students at CUNY, Brooklyn College, received bachelor’s degrees in biology this past June.
     
  • Many participants in NIGMS’ minority programs spent the summer of 2002 performing research away from their home institutions. The participants and their summer institutions are listed below, grouped by home institution:

    Barry University: Maria Abreu, Baylor College of Medicine; Constanza Berger, Western Kentucky University; Eauly Brautigam, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); Melanie Camacho, Emporia University; Nikeisha Chin, Colorado State University; Paola Colmenares, University of the West Indies, Jamaica; Dominique Florville, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Empress Hughes and Nahshan St. Bernard, The Hormone Research Center, Korea; Ivette Lopez, University of Miami; Raquel Peralta, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Kevin Peterson and Amber Siler-Knogl, Columbia University; Roody Pierre-Charles, Stazione Zoologica, Italy; Erica Ramos, Northern Arizona University; Dick Salihah, Cornell University; Christina Stujenske, California Institute of Technology; Florence Taylor, University of California, Berkeley; and Gesulla Toussaint, University of Florida.

    Chicago State University: Keyona Fletcher, University of Michigan; Jeremy Harrison, Purdue University; Kara Scott, University of Alabama; Corpia Smith, Chicago State University; Stephen Smith, University of California, Berkeley; and Tiffany White, Northwestern University.

    CUNY, Brooklyn College: Allyson Bunbury, National Institute on Aging, NIH; Tamara Edwards, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Ismaele Jacques, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Ufeta Om’Iniabohs, UCSD; and Shella Saint Fleur, Harvard Medical School.

    CUNY, Hunter College: Ten MARC and MBRS students participated in the Hunter College/Columbia University Health Sciences summer research program. They are Lauriaselle Afanador, Jeanne Amuta, Jayson Bastien, Alain Berthold, Candice Etson, Lavonne Hunter, Randy Jackson, Sidonie Jones, Tracy Robinson, and Julane Thompson.

    Delaware State University: Diana Ackah, Yale University; Joyce Addo, Joel Copper, Michele LaMarr, and Jenel Nixon, University of Pennsylvania; Anthea Aikins, Carrie Belfield, Jeniter Hughes, and Rozie Townsend, University of Virginia; David Charlot, College of William and Mary; Mastingor Desir, University of Miami; Tiffany Hawkins, UCSF; Dorcey Jones, Harvard Medical School; Donté Jones and Victoria Williams, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Emeka Omereh, University of Delaware; Meron Solomon, Cornell University; Alicia Sherrell, UMBC; Dara Waiters, Brown University; KaTonna Williams, The Johns Hopkins University; and Jessica Witherspoon, Stanford University.

    Jefferson State Community College: Bridgett Hill, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    North Carolina A&T State University: Manza Atkinson, University of Iowa; Jennifer Davis, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta; Shylise Griffiths and Franki Faulkner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and LaKisha Partman, University of South Carolina.

    University of Arizona, Tucson: Irene Alvarez, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH; Alex Barela, NIDDK, NIH; Nanibaa Garrison, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France; Linda Mobula, The Johns Hopkins University; Humberto Sirvent, University of Notre Dame; and Jennifer Thompson, UCSD.

    UCLA: Charisse Crenshaw, University of Florence, Italy.

    Virginia State University: Phyllis Wilson, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, New Orleans.
     
  • The following participants in NIGMS’ minority programs made presentations about their research at recent scientific meetings:

    Benedict College: MBRS program participants Nafeesa Ahamed, Shannel MacKall-Moore, and Ndiya Ogba presented at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Alliance for Minority People in Columbia, SC, in August.

    CSUDH: MARC undergraduate students Bernice Aguilar, Ibette Lemus, Jerome Nwachukwu, and Susana Rodriguez presented at the SACNAS annual meeting in September. Jerome Nwachukwu presented at the XIII Undergraduate Research Symposium in Puerto Rico in October. Dr. Thomas Landefeld, the MARC program director at CSUDH, served as the meeting’s keynote speaker.

    Medgar Evers College-Kingsborough Community College: Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participants Sherise Warner, Shawlorna Morris, Kawasi Lett, Turkesha Huggins, Candice King, and Ayodeji Nicholson presented at the 35th annual Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists Conference in October.

    North Carolina A&T State University: MARC students Shylise Griffiths, Manza Atkinson, Jennifer Davis, LaKisha Partman, and Franki Faulkner presented at the First Annual North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity Through Education Conference, held in September on the campus of North Carolina State University.
     
  • In recent months, we have received word about the following current and former student participants in NIGMS minority programs • Sherrice Allen, Sue Carson, and Roberto Frontera-Suau, former participants in the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have gone on to faculty positions. Allen is a botany instructor at North Carolina State University, Carson is an assistant professor of biology at Fayetteville State University, and Frontera-Suau is an assistant professor of biology at Elizabeth City State University • Cheryl Anderson, a former MBRS program participant at the University of Washington in Seattle, is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine • Diana M. Avila, a former MARC trainee at St. Mary’s University and MARC predoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, has joined the faculty of St. Mary’s University as an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences • Carol Bristol, a former MARC participant at CUNY, Brooklyn College, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in June 2000 and is in her second year of studies for an M.P.H. degree at George Washington University • Alexis Epps, an MBRS program participant at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation/Missouri Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate. The award will provide Epps with 5 years of support to pursue a doctoral degree in parasitology at the university • Julio C. Gonzalez, a former MARC trainee at San Jose State University (SJSU), earned an M.D.- Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is now a fellow in the department of infectious diseases at the University of Washington Medical Center-Roosevelt • Nathan Mata, a former MBRS and MARC program participant at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is now an assistant professor of ophthalmology at UCLA • Liz Reynoso Paz, a former MARC trainee at SJSU, received her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California, Davis. She plans to start her own biotech company after completing postdoctoral work at the university • Elizabeth B. Torres, a former MARC trainee at SJSU, received her Ph.D. in cognitive science from UCSD and is now completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.
     

We are always interested in hearing about NIGMS minority program faculty, alumni, and students. Photographs of your students, research labs, and activities are also welcomed and encouraged. Please send information to:

Editor
NIGMS Minority Programs Update
Room 3AN.32
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Tel: 301-496-7301
Fax: 301-402-0224
atheys@nigms.nih.gov

 

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