NUCLEUS student takes top honors for biomedical research
NUCLEUS students who attended the conference in Orlando included, from left, front row, Jachin Spencer, Patricia Timothee, Diniece Barran, award winner Sohil Golwala, and, back row, Elaina Welch and Liana Sherrod.
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9:38 a.m., Nov. 17, 2008----Sohil Golwala, a University of Delaware junior majoring in medical technology, received one of the top awards during the seventh annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students held Nov. 5-9, in Orlando, Fla.

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More than 1,800 students from colleges and universities nationwide, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico attended the conference.

Golwala, who is a student in the University of Delaware's NUCLEUS (Network of Undergraduate Collaborative Learning Experience for Underrepresented Scholars) program, received one of the top awards given in the area of microbiology for a poster presentation, “Characterization of Protective Convalescent Serum generated from Yersinia-infected Mice.” His research mentor is Michelle Parent, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Technology.

Other students who presented at the conference included Diniece Barran, junior biological sciences major; Patricia Timothee, senior biological sciences major; Elaina Welch, sophomore biological sciences major and black American studies minor; Liana Sherrod, junior biological sciences major and former National Institutes of Health Bridges student, and Jachin Spencer, junior mechanical engineer major and a participant of the Resources to Insure Successful Engineers (RISE) program.

David Usher, professor and associate chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences; Kenneth vanGolen, assistant professor in biological sciences, and Jacqueline Aldridge, program coordinator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute/NUCLEUS, NIH Bridges and Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Programs, accompanied the students.

The annual conference provides students an opportunity to present their work in a scientific forum and network with undergraduate and graduate students and university faculty, administrators, professional staff and recruiters nationwide. The conference was filled with academic, professional and personal development workshops.

Students, faculty, administrators and professional staff had the opportunity to be re-energized and motivated about what it means to be a scientist and/or medical professional, an excellent mentor, instructor and advisor to students who are pursuing biomedical and behavioral science careers.

In addition to poster and oral presentations, students were provided numerous opportunities for networking with other students from undergraduate to graduate and post doctorate and M.D./Ph.D candidate levels. The conference also served as a “recruiting base” for many schools from coast to coast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Overall, the conference was “fulfilling, rewarding and fostered an environment among many enabling them to embrace and appreciate diversity in academia as well as industry,” Aldridge said.