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Scientific Disciplines Represented at ABRCMS

Transformative discoveries happen when we work across disciplines to solve problems. At ABRCMS, we strongly encourage students to 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.

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.

Cancer Biology

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Physiology and Pharmacology

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.

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 are 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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