2016 BECUR conference

BECUR 2016

Poster Winners(l-r): Bianca Reilly, Kathryn Herrera-Theut, Elise Munoz, Vedanshi Bhargava, Patrick O’Connor, Anmol Singh, Ben Wu and Ladan Navari. Not pictured: Nancy Tiet.

By James Hazzard, University of Arizona

On February 20, 2016, the University of Arizona’s ASBMB Student Chapter (UA Biochemistry Club) hosted the 7th Biological, Engineering, and Chemical Undergraduate Research Conference (BECUR).

The purpose of this conference is to provide students with an opportunity to present their research in a professional yet comfortable environment. BECUR is entirely organized and coordinated by the undergraduate members of the UA Biochemistry Club.

The 2016 keynote speaker was Dr. Michael Rossmann, a Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. This year’s student speaker was Ali Icenogle, a biochemistry senior working in the lab of Dr. Catherine Smith in the College of Pharmacy. Ali presented her research on epigenetics and nuclear receptors. Approximately 55 undergraduate students from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University presented research posters, along with several high school students from the Tucson area.

Also present at the conference were various student organizations including the Chemistry Club, MCB Club and the Catalyst Club. These groups facilitated some exciting activities and demonstrations for attendees of the conference. The undergraduate students who presented in this conference competed for cash and travel prizes.

The 2016 winners of $100 cash award recipients were:

  • Ben Wu (Oliver Monti Group)
  • Patrick O’Connor (Daniela Zarnescu Group)
  • Vedanshi Bhargava (Lalitha Madhavan Group)
  • Nancy Tiet (Justina McEvoy Group)

Winners of the $500 ASBMB Travel Awards were:

  • Kathryn Herrera-Theut (Kevin Redding Group – ASU)
  • Anmol Singh (Do-Young Kim, Dignity Health )
  • Elise Munoz (Daniela Zarnescu Group)

The high school prizes were awarded to:

  • Ladan Navari (Tucson Magnet High School)
  • Bianca Reilly (Ironwood Ridge High School)

BECUR serves as excellent preparation for future attendance and participation in larger and more competitive national scientific meetings, such as the annual American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and
American Chemical Society (ACS) meetings.

Photos from this year’s BECUR are available here.

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