NUCLEUS students honored for biomedical research
All of these UD NUCLEUS students made presentations at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Austin, Texas.
5:46 p.m., Dec. 3, 2007--Two UD NUCLEUS students were awarded first place for their research at the sixth Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), held Nov. 7-10, in Austin, Texas. Obinna Mmagu, a junior biological sciences major at UD, and Osemeke Edobor, a sophomore biology major from Lincoln University, were winners in poster and oral presentation categories in each of their disciplines.

Mmagu took first place for an oral presentation (physiological sciences category), which involved explaining how fenofibrate, a PPAR agonist, antagonizes progesterone-stimulated MUC1 expression in T47D breast cancer cells. His research mentors are Daniel Carson, department chairperson in biological sciences, and Peng Wang, a UD graduate student. Mmagu is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)/Network of Undergraduate Collaborative Learning Experiences for Underrepresented Students (NUCLEUS) scholar as well as a member of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. NUCLEUS recruits and retains African American, Latino, native American and other underrepresented students majoring in the sciences.

Edobor took first place in his poster category (cell biological sciences) which involved explaining the cellular mechanism that underlies chemo-resistance that occurs in men who have developed metastatic prostate cancer. He is a participant in the Department of Defense (DOD) program, a collaborative partnership between the University of Delaware, Lincoln University and Delaware State University that focuses on encouraging minority students who attend historically black colleges and universities to engage in prostate cancer research. His research mentors are Freddie Pruitt, graduate student and former HHMI/NUCLEUS scholar, and Robert Sikes, associate professor; Kenneth Van Golen, assistant professor; and Carlton Cooper, assistant professor, all biological sciences.

Other NUCLEUS students who presented at the conference included Jesse Sinanan, junior biological sciences major and former NIH Bridges student; Tyanna Hadley, junior biochemistry major; Christopher Drummer, junior biological sciences major and psychology minor; Marshariki Jenkins-Kabaila, a DOD student and junior biology major at Lincoln University; and Adaire Heady a DOD student and junior physics major at Delaware State University.

Obinna Mmagu, a junior biological sciences major at UD, took first place in the physiological sciences category for an oral presentation on breast cancer.
ABRCMS is the largest multidisciplinary student conference in the U.S. Each year, the conference attracts approximately 2,600 individuals, including 1,650 undergraduate students, 300 graduate students/postdoctoral scientists and 750 faculty and administrators.

Jacqueline Aldridge, program coordinator of the NUCLEUS, National Institutes of Health Bridges and U.S. Department of Defense programs, accompanied students. “This is the second year in a row that UD's HHMI/NUCLEUS Program has taken home a national award,” she said. Aldridge said the conference was an excellent learning experience for the students. “It was filled with academic, professional and personal development workshops in which students, faculty, administrators and professional staff had the opportunity to be re-energized and motivated,” Aldridge said.