24th Annual Conference

Shankar Vedantam Photo Coutesy of NPR & Gary Knight VII

Shankar Vedantam
Photo Coutesy of NPR & Gary Knight VII

How do high levels of arsenic in drinking water contribute to development of cancers of the urogenital system?  Can social media be used to increase exercise?  What can be learned about Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs to establish their importance in the ecosystem and do prairie dogs have different discernable personalities?  What is the best means of turning algae into a biofuel?  Might sweet sorghum grown in drought conditions also be a good source of biofuel?  How can Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) be used in clinical applications to diagnose and monitor disease progression and treatment?

All of these topics were the subject of posters presented at the 24th Annual Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) Conference  held Saturday, January 19 from 1 – 5 pm in the Keating Building on the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center campus.  And WHAT A DAY IT WAS!

More than 125 undergraduate and high school students presented, making this our largest conference ever! Included in this number were eight Native American students from Northern Arizona University who are part of the Native American Cancer Prevention Partnership, a collaborative project funded by NIH that involves faculty and students from NAU and UA along with tribal communities in Arizona.

We were thrilled when UBRP and BRAVO! Alum Dr. Francisco Villa turned up with a BUSLOAD of students from Arizona Western College in Yuma!  Twenty-five students! THAT was fantastic!

The keynote speaker was Shankar Vedantam, NPR Science and Human Behavior Correspondent and author of “The Hidden Brain.”  While Mr. Vedantam planned to be at the conference in person, he was a victim of the flu but ended up addressing the conference by skype.  This worked remarkably well and he spoke to a standing room only crowd.

All in all it was a very satisfying day!  A big thank you to everyone who helped make it a success!

List of Abstracts | Photo Gallery