- Dr. Erich D. Jarvis, a former participant in two NIGMS minority programs,
received the 2002 Alan T. Waterman Award, which honors a U.S. scientist
who is at the forefront of science or engineering. It is the highest
honor for a young researcher given by NSF.
Jarvis participated in the MARC and MBRS programs as an undergraduate
student at the City University of New York, Hunter College, where
he received a bachelor's degree in biology and mathematics in 1988.
He went on to become a MARC predoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller
University, where he received a Ph.D. in molecular neurobiology
and animal behavior in 1995. Following postdoctoral work at Rockefeller,
he became an assistant professor in the department of neurobiology
at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. His research interests
include the neurobiology of vocal communication in songbirds, with
an emphasis on the molecular pathways involved in the perception
and production of learned vocalizations.
Jarvis received the award, which consists of a medal and a grant
of $500,000 over 3 years for his scientific research, during a ceremony
in Washington, DC, on May 7.
- Two MORE program directors were among the most recent recipients
of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics,
and Engineering Mentoring. The awards, which are presented annually,
recognize influential institutions and individuals who have been
leaders in encouraging minorities, women, and disabled persons to
pursue careers in the scientific and engineering labor force. The
recipients included Dr. Therese Markow, a Regents professor
of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona,
Tucson, and Dr. Bharati Mehrotra, a professor of biology
at Tougaloo College in Mississippi.
Markow is the former MARC program director at Arizona State University
and is currently the IRACDA director at the University of Arizona.
Mehrotra was the MARC program director at Tougaloo College prior
to her retirement in May.
Markow and Mehrotra were among 10 individuals and 10 institutions
who received awards. The awards were established by the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1996 and are administered
by NSF. Award recipients attended a ceremony in December in Washington,
DC, and were presented with a $10,000 grant and a commemorative
- Dr. Chellu Chetty, the MBRS program director and a biology
professor at Savannah State University (SSU), was selected to receive
the American College of Toxicology President's Award for the best
paper of the year in the field of toxicology. The paper, "Perinatal
Lead Exposure Alters the Expression of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase
in Rat Brain," was published in the International Journal
of Toxicology (for the full citation, see the Selected
Publications section). Chetty received the award during the
society's annual meeting in November in Washington, DC.
- Dr. Laura J. Robles, the MBRS program director at California
State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), received the Cesar Chavez
Education, Equity, and Justice Award from the Latino Student and
Faculty Association of CSUDH in April. Robles, a biology professor,
was recognized for her efforts to enhance the quality of life and
educational experience at the university.
- Dr. Ben Yaspelkis, an MBRS investigator at California State
University, Northridge (CSUN), was elected a fellow of the American
College of Sports Medicine. Yaspelkis is an assistant professor
in the department of kinesiology at CSUN, where he also serves as
director of the exercise physiology and biochemistry laboratories.
The American College of Sports Medicine promotes and integrates
scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports
medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance,
fitness, health, and quality of life.
- Dr. Ernest Márquez, director
of the MBRS program at NIGMS since 1996, left the Institute in January
to accept a position with the National Institute of Mental Health,
another NIH component. In his new position, Márquez serves
as associate director for special populations, where he leads the
strategic planning effort to reduce mental health disparities and
increase diversity among the nation's scientists conducting brain
and behavioral research.
- The Society
for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
received the 2002 National Science
Board Public Service Award for outstanding contributions to communicating,
promoting, and helping to develop broad public policy in science
and engineering. SACNAS was recognized for "giving information,
support, guidance, and mentoring to budding young Latino and Native
American scientists and engineers." At its annual conference,
which NIGMS co-sponsors, SACNAS provides opportunities for undergraduate
and graduate students to participate in their first scientific meeting
and hear talks by leading scientists.
- The CSUDH Chapter of Sigma Xi received
the organization's first annual Diversity Award for its support
of the CSUDH annual Students Trained in Academic Research Symposium,
which features the research results of the university's MBRS, MARC,
and Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participants.
- The Federation of American Societies for
Experimental Biology (FASEB) Visiting Scientists Program for
Minority Institutions sponsored 13 faculty members recently. The
program is designed to strengthen the research and teaching capabilities
at minority institutions by sponsoring visits of prominent scientists
who are active members of FASEB societies. The visiting scientists,
listed with their home/host institutions, were: Dr. Durisala
Desaiah, University of Mississippi Medical Center/SSU; Dr.
Stephen Dewhurst, University of Rochester Medical Center/University
of the Virgin Islands; Dr. Margarita Dubocovich, Northwestern
University/Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Richard Dukelow,
High Meadows Enterprise/Jackson State University; Dr. Robert
Glew, University of New Mexico School of Medicine/Barry University;
Dr. Malcolm Gordon, University of California, Los Angeles/InterAmerican
University of Puerto Rico; Dr. Sam Helgerson, Baxter Biotechnologies,
Inc./University of Texas at San Antonio; Dr. Thomas Landefeld,
CSUDH/Prairie View A&M University; Dr. George Littleton,
Howard University/CSUDH; Dr. John Mansfield, University of
Wisconsin-Madison/Alcorn State University; Dr. Victor Rodwell,
Purdue University/Albany State University; Dr. Dileep Sachan,
University of Tennessee/Barry University; and Dr. Frank Talamantes,
University of California, Santa Cruz/Ponce School of Medicine.
- Dr. Seble Wagaw, a former NIGMS minority
program participant, was recognized in April at the annual National
Women of Color Health, Science, and Technology Awards event held
in Nashville, TN. Wagaw, a research chemist at Abbott Laboratories
in Abbott Park, IL, is involved in the discovery of new methods
of preparing drug candidates for clinical study. She received the
Most Promising Scientist of the Year Award for her outstanding contributions
to the field of health care, as well as for her initiative and professional
and technical achievements. Wagaw was the recipient of an NIH research
supplement for underrepresented minorities while pursuing a Ph.D.
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Four former MBRS program participants at New
Mexico State University (NMSU) earned their doctoral degrees during
winter commencement ceremonies.
Robert Marquez received a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and
was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of
Virginia School of Medicine; Quincy Quick received a Ph.D.
in neurobiology and is performing a postdoctoral fellowship at the
Worcester Foundation in Waltham, MA; Elizabeth Quintana received
a Ph.D. in physiology and is planning to pursue a postdoctoral research
position; and Johnette Brown-Silva received a Ph.D. in ruminant
microbiology and is performing postdoctoral research at NMSU.
- Many participants in NIGMS' minority programs
made presentations about their research at the ABRCMS meeting last
fall in Orlando, FL.
The following MARC, MBRS, and Bridges to the Baccalaureate program
participants at Barry University in Florida presented posters: Eauly
Brautigam, Ines Macias, Roody Pierre-Charles,
Davecia Ragoonath, Randolph Roberts, and Gesulla
Luis Jacome, a MARC undergraduate student at the City University
of New York, Hunter College, was recognized by the Endocrine Society
for his outstanding poster presentation.
Five Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participants at the Medgar
Evers College/Kingsborough Community College in New York presented
posters: Oreoluma Abidakun,Wendy Barrerio, Paul
Calder, Kawasi Lett, and Elinor Rodriguez. Barrerio
and Rodriguez also made oral presentations of their research.
Seven MARC trainees at Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto
Rico made presentations: Adail Alicea-Martinez, Alma Castilloveitia-Rose,
Dania Medina-Emmanuelli, Karina Resto-Santiago, Carol
Rivera-Lopez, Jose Rodriguez-Medina, and Yendi Serrano-Irizarry.
Bianca Matos, a Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participant
at the State University of New York, Purchase College, was awarded
best presentation in the biochemical sciences category for her poster.
Five MBRS program participants from the University of Iowa presented
posters: Marc Doobay, Nonso Enekwechi, Elizabeth
Homan, Necole Streeper, and Diane Tran. Homan
and Doobay also made oral presentations, and Doobay won an award
for the best oral presentation in the physiological sciences category.
Three Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participants at Western
Michigan University made poster presentations: Nabeeh Hasan,
Greg Williams, and Amber Walker. Hasan and Williams'
poster presentation won first place in the interdisciplinary sciences
- Participants in NIGMS' minority programs made
presentations about their research at other recent scientific meetings:
Charita Collins, a MARC undergraduate student at the University
of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), received second place in the
biological sciences category for her poster presentation at the
American Institute of Chemical Engineers student conference held
in Indianapolis, IN, in November.
Jaime Lopez, a MARC undergraduate student at CSUN, gave a
poster presentation at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting
in San Diego, CA, in November.
Mona Singh, an MBRS program participant at CSUN, won the
2001 student research award for her presentation at the annual meeting
of the Southwest Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
in Salt Lake City, UT, in November.
Necole Streeper, an MBRS participant at the University of
Iowa, gave a presentation at the International Society for Developmental
Psychology annual meeting in San Diego in November.
Ari Miller, an MBRS graduate student participant at CSUDH,
received second place for her poster presentation at the American
Society for Cell Biology annual meeting in Washington, DC, in December.
The award was presented by the society's Minority Affairs Committee.
Katie Shannon, an IRACDA program participant at the University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, also presented a poster at the meeting.
Eight MBRS program participants at the University of California,
Irvine, received awards for their presentations at the American
Association for Advancement of Science annual meeting in February
in Boston, MA. Four of the students won first place awards in various
categories: Rafael Gonzalez, organismal biology; Matilde
Gonzalez, ecology and environment; Sylvia Jaramillo,
molecular and cell biology; and Bonnie Poytress, social and
behavioral sciences. Cheryse Furman, Kathi Hamor,
David Hernandez, and Sarah Lopez received honorable
Five MARC and pre-MARC trainees at UMBC
attended the 8th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically
Underserved, and Cancer in Washington, DC, in February. They were:
Robyn Miller, DeAnna Baker, Letitia Thompson,
Nicole Reynolds, and Jasmine McDonald. Thompson made
an oral presentation at the meeting and Miller presented a poster.
Braddy Nykeba, an MBRS program participant at SSU, received
a third-place award for his poster presentation at the Historically
Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program conference
held in February at Albany State University. Nykeba also received
a Society of Toxicology student travel award to present a paper
at the society's 41st annual meeting in Nashville, TN, in March.
Dang Huynh, a Bridges to the Doctorate program participant
at CSUN, presented a poster on his research at the Biophysical Society
annual meeting in February in San Francisco, CA, and at the university's
6th annual student research and creative arts competition last fall.
Three MARC undergraduate students at Grambling State University
in Louisiana made presentations at the Louisiana Academy of Sciences
annual meeting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in March.
The projects were presented by Jerrel Gibson, Leonard
Moore, and Marcus Chew.
Three MARC undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina
A&T State University made presentations of their research at
the Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Science
annual meeting in March. Ryan Kinloch was awarded second
place for his presentation, Bryant Suitte received a third-place
award, and Tennille Presley received an honorable mention.
Two MARC students at the university made presentations at the 59th
annual Beta Kappa Chi/National Institute of Science/Brookhaven Semester
Program in Columbia, SC, in March. Bryant Suitte received
a third-place award in the chemistry category and Tiffany Boyce
received a third-place award in the psychology and science education
Eleven MARC undergraduate students at Pontifical Catholic University
of Puerto Rico made oral presentations at the 37th American Chemical
Society Junior Technical Meeting/22nd Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary
Scientific Meeting in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in March: Dania Medina-Emmanuelli,
Maryliz del Gonzales-Santos, Ivan Vidal-Gonzalez,
Jose Rodrigues-Medina, Carol Rivera-Lopez, Karina
Resto-Santiago, Alma Castilloveitia-Rosa, Gil Marie
Alicea-Cruz, Yared Vazquez-Madera,Yendi Serrano-Irizarry,
and Edgardo Santiago-Martinez.
Marietta Oduori, a Bridges to the Baccalaureate program participant
at Towson University in Maryland, made a poster presentation on
her research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research
in April at the University of Wisconsin,Whitewater.
Jennifer Greene, a UMBC pre-MARC student, received a travel
award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
to attend the Experimental Biology 2002 meeting in April in New
Orleans, LA. April Ochoa and Pamela Villasenor of
CSUN made presentations at the meeting. Ochoa is an MBRS program
participant and Villasenor is a MARC student.
- FASEB presented numerous faculty members
and students with MARC travel awards to attend the following meetings:
Experimental Biology 2001, the Radiation Research Society annual
meeting, the American Peptide Society annual meeting, the Endocrine
Society annual meeting, the 15th Symposium of the Protein Society,
the Society for the Study of Reproduction annual meeting, the American
Society of Human Genetics annual meeting, and the American Society
for Bone and Mineral Research meeting.
- The Biophysical Society presented MARC
Travel Awards to 16 faculty members and students recently, providing
funds for these individuals to attend the Biophysical Society annual
meeting in February in San Francisco, CA.
- In recent months, we have received word about
the following current and former student participants in NIGMS minority
programs: Anthony Beas, a MARC undergraduate student
at the University of Arizona, was named an outstanding undergraduate
researcher by the university's College of Science at its recent
seniors awards ceremony Monica Frazier, a former
MBRS and MARC program participant at Alabama State University, is
now a research assistant professor at the Carver Research Foundation
at Tuskegee University Linda Hammond, a MARC predoctoral
fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was recently
awarded the American Society for Clinical Nutrition's Young Investigator
Award. In addition, Hammond was among 12 finalists for the American
Society for Nutritional Sciences' Proctor and Gamble Graduate Student
Research Award Johnny Johnson, a former MBRS program
participant at SSU, is now pursuing a Ph.D. in physiology at the
State University of New York at Stony Brook Alejandro
Morales, an MBRS program participant at CSUDH, has been accepted
into a doctoral program in counseling psychology at the University
of Nebraska Diane Tran, an MBRS program participant
at the University of Iowa, was recently named a Barry M. Goldwater
scholar. The award provides a 2-year scholarship to students intending
to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering Bridget
Williams, a former MARC undergraduate student at Xavier University,
is pursuing a doctoral degree at Tulane University's Health Sciences
Center, where she is a Bridges to the Doctorate program participant
Nora Vasquez, a former MBRS program participant at
the University of Washington, was among nine individuals selected
to participate in the NIH Academy, a program for recent college
graduates who have an interest in health disparities. Vasquez is
currently performing research in a lab at the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD.
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
NIGMS Minority Programs Update
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200