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Hiram Students Snag Biomedical Prize

Two Hiram computer science majors were among 277 who earned recognition for their poster presentations on molecular and computational biology research  at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)2012 held November 7-10 in San Jose, CA.

Eric Wheeler, ’14, and Justin Wisniewski, ’13 won prizes for their presentations on a software package they created that organizes and summarizes metagenomic biological data. Wheeler was the primary author, and Wisniewski the secondary. Their faculty mentor is assistant professor Louis Oliphant.

ABRCMS, the largest professional conference of its kind in the nation, is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including STEM disciplines; it also provides faculty with resources for facilitating student success.

More than 3,400 people attended the conference, including approximately 2,100 students, 550 faculty,  and program directors, and 540 recruiters for graduate and summer research programs. More than 1,700 of the attending students participated in poster and oral presentations in 12 sub-disciplines of the biomedical and behavioral sciences. All undergraduate and post-baccalaureate presentations were evaluated by active-researcher scientists, and the students with the highest scores in each scientific discipline and for each educational level received monetary awards.

Twenty-five organizations contributed to awards of $250 each to 277 students for outstanding research, and the awards for the molecular and computational biology discipline — sponsored by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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