2017 BECUR Conference Highlights

Photo: Jacob Croft of the William Montfort lab presenting his poster to BECUR judges. Photo courtesy of Julie Huynh.

The University of Arizona’s ASBMB Student Chapter hosted its eighth annual Biological, Engineering, and Chemical Undergraduate Research (BECUR) Conference on February 25, 2017. The BECUR conference enriches the lives of young undergraduates by creating an environment that emulates professional scientific meetings. It gives students the opportunity to present their scientific work in a poster format, develop presentation skills, and network with professors and peers from a wide variety of disciplines. This year, 49 undergraduates from a large number of departments at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University presented their research in poster format and competed for prizes.

Winners of $100 cash awards from the Southern Arizona ACS Chapter were:

    Sona Avetian (Neal Armstrong's lab), and
    Michael Manchester (Jeff Pyun's lab)

Winners of $100 cash awards from ASBMB were:

    Anvi Bhakta (Catherine Smith's lab), and
    Lucas Harrell (Jacob Schwartz's lab)

Winners of $500 ASBMB Travel Awards to be used for the 2018 ASBMB Annual Meeting were:

    Emily Galloway (Tally Largent-Milne's lab),
    Abigail O'Conner (Daniela Zarnescus lab), and
    David Lasansky (Neel Ghosh's lab)

Winners of $50 ASBMB Science Fair Awards for high school students were:

    Seneca Blank (Tucson Magnet High School), and
    Joseph Montoya (Ironwood Ridge High School)

The BECUR conference has two prominent traditions. The first is inviting two senior undergraduates to give oral presentations. These students are selected to speak based on the quality of their work as well as the excellence of their submitted abstracts. This year Celina Nguyen (John Jewett's lab) and Sona Avetian (Neal Armstrong's lab) were the selected speakers.

The second tradition, and the largest hallmark, is inviting a prominent member of the scientific community to give the Keynote Address. This year the Keynote Address was given by Professor James M. Berger, Ph.D. of the John Hopkins School of Medicine, where he is Co-director of the Cancer Chemical and Structural Biology Program. Professor Berger is a renowned biophysicist and biochemist who is a member of the National Academy of Science; his lab has elucidated the structure-function relationship of a number of DNA modifying enzymes.

For more information about the meeting, please visit our UA Biochemistry Club/ASBMB Student Chapter website.

More photos from this year's BECUR conference are now uploaded to Facebook; you do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view the photos.

Pictured left to right: Gloria Le, Michael Manchester, Sona Avetian, Anvi Bhakta, Lucas Harrell, Abigail O'Conner, Joseph Montoya, Emily Galloway, Seneca Blank, David Lasansky, and Dr. James Hazzard.

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 2, 2017