Shingai Marandure
Shingai Marandure

ABRCMS Hurricane Relief

Published in Blog

Local vision, international mobilization: first steps in restoring Puerto Rico's scientific community after Hurricane Maria

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico beginning on September 20, 2017 was catastrophic. While stories of the storm's lingering effects have been well-publicized, the damage to Puerto Rico's scientific community has been largely underreported.

Classes for newly returned students in Puerto Rico were canceled as a result of the storm and its devastating aftermath. Many campus facilities were either destroyed outright or damaged beyond immediate repair. This included not only buildings but also laboratories and other facilities used by scientists ranging from undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students to professors.

Unfortunately, it was impossible to recover the samples and data that were destroyed by the storm, some of which represented over a decade of work. However, the scientific community banded together to minimize the amount of time these scientists would lose continuing or, in some cases, restarting their work. Under the direction of Dr. Juan S.Ramirez Lugo, President of the Caribbean Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a plenary speaker at the 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), a funding program was created to support these scientists through grants and financial aid. AAAS was joined by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) and Ciencia Puerto Rico in fundraising for and publicizing this important effort. Through this program, funds were available for temporary relocation to continue research as well as the restoration of facilities.

Critical to the success of this project were the over 450 offers of laboratory space and facilities—as well as personal accommodations—from universities, hospitals, and private companies, as well as a handful of individuals. This outreach was not only from the Puerto Rican scientific diaspora but fellow scientists all over the United States as well as France, Italy, and Hong Kong.

As inspiring as these efforts are, they are ultimately temporary solutions. Without repairs to or reconstruction of scientific facilities, many Puerto Rican scientists will find the challenges to continuing their work in Puerto Rico insurmountable. Those who want to remain in the field may have to permanently relocate, as many already have, and others may be forced to end their studies or careers entirely. Given that many residents of the island still lack power, rebuilding is not likely to begin in the short term. Continuing efforts, as well as an international commitment to this community, will be required in the meantime.

The 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students is proud to present Dr. Ramirez Lugo as one of our plenary speakers on November 16.

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ABRCMS Code of Conduct

Published in Program

The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (“ABRCMS”), managed by the American Society for Microbiology (“ASM”), is one of the nation’s largest conferences for underrepresented students in STEM. ABRCMS is committed to providing an environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas and promotes equal opportunities and respectful treatment for all participants. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration, follow venue rules, and alert ASM/ABRCMS staff or security of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress.

ABRCMS prohibits and will not tolerate any form of harassment or bullying at its events.

Harassment is unwanted and unwelcome attention or other conduct that creates an environment where a reasonable person would feel unwelcome, intimidated, excluded, or abused. Harassment based on gender, race, religion, national origin, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, and any other personal characteristic is strictly prohibited.

ABRCMS will investigate all complaints of harassment, and investigations will be conducted in an unbiased manner. Violation of this code of conduct may result in the participant being asked to leave the event at which the incident occurred, without warning or refund; being barred from attending ABRCMS in the future. Event security and local police may be contacted in the event violators pose an imminent threat to others or are disrupting the event. If an ASM/ABRCMS staff member is found to be in violation, the ASM Headquarters Employment Policy (Prohibition against Sexual and Other Harassment and Discrimination) will be followed. Action regarding an ASM/ABRCMS staff member may result in termination of employment.

This policy applies to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, contractors, volunteers, and guests at ABRCMS. If a participant experiences or witnesses harassment, he/she should contact ASM/ABRCMS staff (identifiable by staff badge) as soon as possible or contact security if they feel unsafe. Individuals may also report complaints via telephone at 866-209-5916 or at https://www.ethcomp.com/asm. All complaints will be responded to promptly and treated seriously and, to the extent possible, confidentially. Complaints that require broader investigation will be handled by ASM/ABRCMS’s Ethics Committee. ABRCMS expressly forbids any retaliation against individuals for reporting harassment.

In the event that an individual knowingly provides false information regarding a harassment situation, ABRCMS may take similar disciplinary action.

ABRCMS CODE OF CONDUCT: REPORTING AND RESPONSE PROCESS

If a participant experiences or witnesses harassment as described in the ABRCMS Code of Conduct, they should contact ASM/ABRCMS staff (identifiable by staff badge) to report the incident. If at any time a participant feels unsafe, they should contact meeting venue security immediately. If the participant is unsure that the incident was in violation of the ABRCMS Code of Conduct, they may inquire first from an ASM/ABRCMS staff member before filing a formal complaint.

The following information should be provided when reporting a harassment incident:

  • Name and contact information of participant
  • Name and contact information of any witnesses
  • Identifying information (e.g. name, badge number, physical appearance) of the individual(s) who are accused of the harassment
  • The specific action or behavior that was in violation of the ABRCMS Code of Conduct
  • The date and approximate time of the incident
  • The location and circumstances surrounding the incident

ABRCMS will accept and investigate all complaints of harassment and investigations will be conducted in an unbiased manner. All complaints will be responded to promptly and treated seriously and, to the extent possible, confidentially.

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Scientific Disciplines Represented at ABRCMS

Published in Present at ABRCMS

Transformative discoveries happen when we work across disciplines to solve problems. At ABRCMS, we strongly encourage students in engage in multi-disciplinary research. However, due to the large number of student presentations, all abstracts are required to align with a single scientific discipline and sub-discipline. This allows for the abstract to be assigned to the appropriate reviewers and on-site judges.

1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

a. Biochemistry - The study of molecules and the cellular processes in which they participate in living organisms.
b. Biomolecules - The study of any organic molecule that is an essential part of a living organism.
c. Chemical Biology - The study of biological processes using chemical strategies, particularly organic synthesis.
d. Genomics - The study of mapping, sequencing, and analyzing the genetic composition of organisms, directed at an understanding of the complete genome and how it is organized and expressed.
e. Proteomics - The study of the protein composition of cells, including protein content, protein modifications, protein-protein interaction, and protein expression during development or changing environmental conditions, generally using high-throughput approaches.
f. Structural Biology - The study of the three-dimensional architectures of biological macromolecules—particularly proteins and nucleic acid—and how their architectures confer their specialized functions.

2. Cancer Biology

a. Cancer Biology - The study of irregularities and uncontrollable growth of individual cells, tissue, or organs in any organisms.

3. Cell Biology

a. Cell Biology - The study of cells; their physiological properties; their structure; the organelles they contain; their interactions with their environment; and their life cycles, division, and death.
b. Molecular Imaging - The study that seeks to exploit an increased and enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of disease through the design of novel imaging probes to specific molecular targets.
c. Plant Biology - The study of plant life involving every aspect of the environment and interactions such that plants may exist in their natural or adapted states.

4. Chemistry

a. Analytical Chemistry - The study of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials, and the development of tools to elucidate such compositions. 
b. Environmental Chemistry - The study of the chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in air, soil, and water environments and the effect of human activity on these.
c. Inorganic Chemistry - The study of the properties and behavior of inorganic compounds. 
d. Organic Chemistry - The study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen, but which may contain any number of other elements.
e. Pharmaceutical Chemistry - The study of the design, synthesis, and development of pharmaceutical drugs. 
f. Physical Chemistry - The study of the application of physics to macroscopic, microscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems within the field of chemistry that traditionally uses the principles, practices, and concepts of thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, and kinetics.

5. Computational and Systems Biology

a. Bioinformatics - The study of the research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data.
b. Computational Biology - The study of the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems.
c. Computer Sciences - The study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, processing, storage, and dissemination of - and access to - information.
d. Informatics - The study of the application of computer and statistical techniques to the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information.
e. Systems Biology - The study of biological systems that involves the complex integration, interactions, and modeling of key elements such as DNA, RNA, proteins, cells, and biochemical reactions with respect to one another.

6. Developmental Biology and Genetics

a. Developmental Biology - The study of the processes by which organisms grow and develop; it encompasses genetics, cell fate specification, differentiation, and morphogenesis as well as the molecular analysis of tissue and organ system anatomy.
b. Evolution and Developmental Biology - The study of the relationship(s) between the evolution and development of an organism or group of organisms; it encompasses genetic, molecular, paleontological, population, and molecular analyses, as well as theoretical (mathematical) and ecological analyses as they relate to organismal development and evolution.
c. Genetics - The study of the inheritance of genes and the traits they cause, as well as the behavior of chromosomes in cell division and reproduction.

7. Engineering, Physics and Mathematics

a. Bioengineering - The study of the application of the principles of engineering to the fields of biology and medicine, as in the development of aids or replacements for defective or missing body organs.
b. Biomedical Engineering - The coordinated and cross-disciplinary study and advancement of Engineering, Biology, and Medicine to foster human health and well-being.
c. Biophysics - The study dealing with the forces that act on living cells of the body, the relationship between the biologic behavior of living structures, the physical influences to which they are subjected, and the physics of vital processes and phenomena.
d. Material Sciences - The study involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering.
e. Mathematics - The study of the measurement, relationships, space configurations, transformations, generalizations, and overall properties of quantities and sets based on numeration and symbols.
f. Nanotechnology - The study of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices with critical dimensions that lie within that range.

8. Immunology

a. Basic Immunology - The study of all aspects of the immune system in all organisms. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and disease; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders; and the physical, chemical, and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo.
b. Host Responses - The study of the immune response to infectious agents, or to diseases driven by the immune system. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in response to bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infection; or to inflammatory diseases, in vitro, in situ, ex vivo and in vivo.

9. Microbiology

a. Bacteriology - The study of prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea.
b. Environmental Microbiology - The study of the function and diversity of microbes in their natural environments; it includes the study of microbial ecology, microbially mediated nutrient cycling, geomicrobiology, microbial diversity, and bioremediation.
c. Microbial Physiology - The study of the biology and function of microorganisms. It includes but is not limited to information on metabolic pathways, functional genomics, microbial growth, and microbial cell structure.
d. Mycology - The study of fungi, their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy, and their use and dangers to humans.
e. Parasitology - The study of parasitic protozoa and helminthic worms, their hosts, and the relationship between them.
f. Virology - The study of biological viruses and virus-like agents, including their structure and classification, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their potential uses in research and therapy.

10. Neuroscience

a. Neurobiology - The study of cells of the nervous system and the organization of the cells into functional circuits that process information and mediate behavior.
b. Neuroscience - The study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and neurons, in order to advance the understanding of human thought, emotion, and behavior.
c. Psychobiology - The study of the interrelationship of the mental processes and the anatomy and physiology of the individual or psychology as investigated by biological methods.

11. Physiology and Toxicology

a. Anatomy - The study of the shape and structure of organisms and their parts. The bodily structure of a plant or an animal or any of its parts.
b. Endocrinology - The study of the glands and hormones of the body and their related disorders.
c. Nutrition - The study of food and nourishment, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and replacement of tissues.
d. Pharmacology - The study of drugs, including their composition, uses, and effects.
e. Physiology - The study of the functions of living organisms and their parts.
f. Toxicology - The study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects.

12. Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health

a. Anthropology - The study of all human beings across times and places and with all dimensions of humanity (evolutionary, biophysical, sociopolitical, economic, cultural, linguistic, psychological, etc.). Medical anthropology examines the ways in which culture and society are organized around or influenced by issues of health, health care, and related issues.
b. Psychology - The study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, and from child development to care for the aged.
c. Public Health and Epidemiology/Biostatistics - Public Health is the study of individuals, communities, activities, and programs to promote health locally and globally, to prevent disease, injury, and premature death, and to assure conditions in which people can safe and healthy. Epidemiology studies the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases and other health related factors. Biostatistics utilizes statistical methods and techniques to examine issues in health-related sciences.
d. Sociology - The study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.

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Session Proposals

Published in Program

Share Your Expertise

Submit a Session Proposal for ABRCMS 2018
Deadline: June 15

ABRCMS programming is a mix of Committee generated topics, solicited proposals and attendee suggested topics. Individuals can choose to submit a scientific and/or professional development session.

Examples of accepted sessions can be found in the 2017 ABRCMS Preliminary Program

Scientific Session Proposals

ABRCMS is soliciting proposals for innovative and engaging STEM talks to inspire the next generation of scientists. ABRCMS is comprised of 12 STEM disciplines and encourages multidisciplinary research to make transformative discoveries. A scientific session at ABRCMS will provide the audience with an inside scope into the latest cutting-edge research.

Goals

  • Provide a forum to explore the diverse spectrum of STEM research and connect attendees with experts in the field.
  • Articulate the importance of the research to a diverse audience
  • Serve as role models in presenting, communicating, and succeeding in STEM
  • Network with conference attendees

Requirements

The following information will be required in your proposal:
  • Session title (should be short and catchy to draw a crowd)
  • Description (150 words or less)
  • Scientific discipline
  • Learning objectives (up to three)
  • Speaker(s)
  • Speaker diversity
  • Speaker bio (150 words or less)
  • Speaker photo
  • Funding request
  • Why session is a good fit for ABRCMS

Proposals should be well-written and clearly articulate the benefits of the session to the attendees. Poorly written proposals will be automatically rejected. Innovate sessions are strongly encouraged. 

Individuals who submit proposals that specifically promote organizations or institutions will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but instead will be referred to the ABRCMS Exhibits Programs to purchase a booth. 

Review Criteria

ABRCMS seeks to provide a forum to explore the diverse spectrum of STEM research and connect attendees with experts in the field. Scientific session proposals will be rated on the following components:
  • Significance and overall impact 
    • Topic should focus on one or more of the 12 scientific disciplines. Areas of unique research topics are highly encouraged.
  • Audience 
    • Topic should be appealing to all ABRCMS attendee types.
  • Speakers
    • Speakers should have expertise in the content area.

Session Proposal Form

Click here to submit your session proposal form. The deadline to submit is June 15.

Contact Us

Irene Hulede
202-942-9295
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professional Development Session Proposals

The goal is to promote professional and skillset development for students and non-students. Sessions geared towards trainees must focus on advancing trainees educational and career development. Sessions geared towards non students must focus on facilitating student success or help to advance attendees career growth. ABRCMS seeks to provide a balanced program that provides opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations that feature diverse speakers on a wide range of topics. Professional development sessions can be geared toward a general audience or specific groups, including:

  • Community college, undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate students
  • Graduate students
  • Postdocs, faculty, program directors, and exhibitors/administrators

Possible Topics
Below are list of possible topics to address in your proposal. This is not a comprehensive list and innovate topics and ideas are encouraged.

  • Mentoring (i.e. utilizing mentoring as a personal development strategy, navigating mentoring relationships, selecting a good mentor) 
  • Diversity, inclusion, and equity (i.e. overcoming imposter syndrome, strategies for increasing diversity in higher education)
  • Graduate school preparation (i.e. finding funding, preparing personal statements) 
  • Curriculum development (i.e. innovative pedagogy, CURE, SEA-PHAGES) 
  • Evaluation and assessment (i.e. best practices, tools for evaluating program effectiveness)
  • Teaching strategies (i.e. creating an inclusive classroom, evidence based teaching)
  • Enhancing skills (i.e. job search strategies, time management)
  • Career pathways (i.e. industry, science policy, entrepreneurship)
  • Other (i.e. ethics, applying for grants)

All professional development sessions must add to the ongoing discussions of the larger conference themes and goals. Attendees should have actionable takeaways that will further their career development and skillset.

Requirements

The following information will be required in your proposal:

  • Session title (should be short and catchy to draw a crowd)
  • Session description (150 words or less)
  • Learning objectives (up to three)
  • Speaker(s)
  • Speaker diversity
  • Speaker bio (150 words or less)
  • Speaker photo
  • Funding request
  • Why session is a good fit for ABRCMS
  • Preferred room set-up (banquet rounds, theatre, etc.)

The format of sessions can vary based on audience and talk. Types of formats include panel discussions, lectures or small group discussions.

Proposals should be well-written and clearly articulate the benefits to the attendees. Poorly written proposals will be automatically rejected. Innovative sessions are strongly encouraged. Individuals who submit proposals that specifically promote organizations or institutions will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but instead will be referred to the ABRCMS Exhibits Programs to purchase a booth.

Due to the limited slots available, sessions that are not accepted for a face to face presentation at the 2018 may be recommended for presentation as a pre or post conference activities in a webinar format.

Review Criteria

The ABRCMS Session Proposal Committee seeks to provide attendees with a balanced program that provides opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations from informative and thought provoking sessions that feature diverse speakers on a wide range of topics. Proposals will be rated on the following components:
  • Significance and overall impact
    • The proposal should contribute to one or more of ABRCMS goals: (i) encourage students toward graduate or professional education, training, and research careers (ii) provide resources for faculty, researchers, and program directors to help them succeed as scientists, advisers, educators, and leaders, (iii) prepare students for the evolving and interdisciplinary nature of STEM research and careers, and (iv) provide resources to help underrepresented minorities succeed in STEM.
  • Audience
    • Professional development sessions can target one or multiple target audiences, including:
      • Community college, undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate students,
      • Graduate students,
      • Faculty, program directors, exhibitors
  • Speakers
    • Speakers should have expertise in the content area they are presenting on. Speakers from diverse background and experience are highly encouraged.

Session Proposal Form

Cick here to submit your session proposal. The deadline to submit is June 15.

Contact Us

Irene Hulede
202-942-9295
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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