HD 1479 ABRCMS 365 955x313

ABRCMS365: Career & Research Summit

Wednesday, March 1

  • 3:00-4:30pm ET | Career Panel
  • 4:30-6:00pm ET | Graduate Student
    Research Lightning Talks

Friday, March 3

  • 3:00-4:30pm ET | Career Panel
  • 4:30-6:00pm ET | Graduate Student
    Research Lightning Talks

Cost: FREE*

*ABRCMS is supported by a grant from the NIGMS


Are you interested in the current state of STEM careers & research?

Identifying areas of opportunity and adopting strategies to meet the needs of the current landscape in STEM requires maintaining a diligent focus on current research and viable pathways. The ABRCMS365: Career & Research Summit is a new 2-day virtual experience that combines:

  • Career Panels: Conversations with current STEM professionals about their jobs and career paths.
  • Scientific Lightning Talks: STEM Graduate student presentations on their latest research and breakthroughs. 

The event will provide an opportunity for attendees to grow their knowledge of the current state of STEM careers & research and how scientists from a variety of backgrounds have navigated challenges and opportunities. Free to all who attend, this summit is for anyone interested in keeping up with current STEM research and careers while supporting minoritized scientists in their pursuits.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Career Panel (3:00-4:30pm ET)

Ajay Sundaram

Ajay Vishwanathan, PhD
Research Microbiologist, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Ajay Vishwanathan leads the Microbial Pathogenesis & Immune Response (MPIR) branch at the Division of Bacterial Diseases at CDC., his main emphasis being respiratory vaccine-preventable bacterial diseases including pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, meningococcal disease, haemophilus influenzae disease, pneumococcal disease, and group B streptococcal disease.  MPIR is also involved in emergency responses during national and global outbreaks. Ajay's Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology have allowed him to understand microbial systems better, including HIV and sexually transmitted infections and host immune responses, and to develop novel research studies that impact diagnosis, disease prevention, and vaccine development. His expertise and broad body of work have facilitated his career advancement in a reputed organization like the CDC, where he has now, over 14 years, grown into leadership roles.       

 Maria Alvim Gaston

Maria Alvim Gaston, PhD
Senior Director, Eli Lilly and Company

A result-oriented Talent Acquisition professional and recruiting manager with experience across the STEM fields. My professional career spans over 22 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, where I have served in roles across therapeutic areas, discovery, chemistry, research IT, discovery operations, open innovation, and talent acquisition. Experienced in the pharmaceutical industry, proficient at driving and building innovative platforms for tangible results. An impactful and driven leader focused on developing a diverse group of young, emerging scientists from the early stages of their careers. A flexible, creative thinker can operate both strategically & tactically. Passionate about innovative business models and their execution with a track record of high productivity based on the ability to work in a team environment.

 Christina Vallianatos

Christina Vallianatos, PhD
Genomic Education & Outreach Program Manager, The Jackson Laboratory

I work as a genetics education specialist within JAX Genomic Education, in the division of STEM & Undergraduate Education. In my role, I design, develop, and implement courses and programming in genomics, genetics, and computational techniques. I also focus on the strategic vision for grant- and institutionally-funded education outreach programs, both in local communities and nationally. My passion for science outreach and engagement, as well as my expertise in genetics, help me create engaging events, curricula, and courses that serve a wide range of learners.

 Galahad Deperalta

Galahad Deperalta
Staff Scientist, Analytical Development and Quality Control, Genentech

I am currently the Analytical Development and Quality Control Innovation Group leader at Genentech in SSF. My group focuses on assessing new analytical/digital technologies and strategies to support the characterization and release testing of Genentech's biotherapeutic medicines. I have 21+ years of early and late stage biotherapuetic drug development experience, with expertise in the areas of biologics process development, GMP/QC analytical method development, analytical and biophysical characterization of protein therapeutics, control strategies, project team leadership, program management, and people management. My BS in Biochemistry served as the technical foundation for which I have been able to build my career journey in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Graduate Student Research Lightning Talks (4:30-6:00pm)

 Ashton Webber Deonauth

The Awesome Auxin Mediator; An Insight into Molecular Crosstalk between RACK1 and Auxin

Ashton Webber, PhD. Student, Department of Biology, Howard University

 Joseph Salem Hernandez

Burnout during Surgical Residency in a Hispanic Population

Joseph Salem-Hernández, MD candidate, University of Puerto Rico-School of Medicine

 Stephanie Chinwo

Molecular analysis of AMBRA1 as a candidate tumor suppressor in sporadic parathyroid adenomas

Stephanie Chinwo, Masters Candidate, Center for Molecular Oncology, UConn Health

 Bellina Mushala

Adropin-GPR19 Signaling is a Potential Therapeutic Target for Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

Bellina Mushala, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Stephany Flores Ramos

Metabolite Pool Shifts Post Portosystemic Shunt Placement Can Be a Predictive Indicator for the Development of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Stephany Flores Ramos, PhD Candidate, Biomedical Sciences, University of California San Diego

No Photo Provided

Interrogating Chromatin Accessibility in Archived Tissues 

Michelle Thomas, PhD Student, Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

No Photo Provided

Using a Computational-Based Approach to Enhance the Binding Characteristics of a Nanobody

Kevin E. Ramos, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Azuah Gonzalez

CaMK4 as a Critical Mediator of Inflammation Resolution in Atherosclerosis

Azuah Gonzalez, PhD Candidate, Department of Pathology Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University

Friday, March 3, 2023

Career Panel (3:00-4:30pm ET)

Shanique Edwards

Shanique Edwards, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Assistant Director of Research Operations

Research Ops at CSHL is a multi-faceted group that handles most elements of research administration, including faculty affairs, career development, equipment and space management, core facility oversight, and research compliance. Day-to-day (for me), this looks like organizing and facilitating the Responsible Conduct of Research course, or managing the institutional nominations for external awards, or onboarding new faculty, or maintaining our campus-wide network of lab managers & building managers, or updating the faculty handbook, or sometimes, all of the above at the same time. My science PhD provides the relevant context for all that we do (CSHL is 100% basic biology research), and the skills to juggle multiple important projects simultaneously, communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, and manage my workload efficiently.

Ruan Cox

Ruan Cox, PhD
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships and Business Operations

At Regeneron, we utilize various information that we ascertain from research on genomic samples to identify rare genetic variations that play a role in disease. As a member of the strategic partnerships team, I am responsible for making global partnerships with academic research centers, hospitals, and medical centers all around the world to enhance our DNA sample pipeline. I utilize my scientific background to help determine the scope of work of the research, to align the needs of the research with legal documents that will govern the collaboration, and finally to critically negotiate the terms of the collaboration such that the scientific aspirations of scientists of Regeneron are covered under any collaboration contract/agreement.

Erika Barr

Erika Barr, PhD
The Jackson Laboratory Program Director, Office of Intramural Training & Education/NIH

As the Director of two NIH summer subprograms (CCSEP and CSOAR), I am responsible for recruitment, planning and executing the various components of the programs.  Both programs focus on the scientific, professional and personal development of participants.  I use my scientific background when planning various science skills workshops.  Furthermore, I use my previous teaching experiences to train postdoctoral fellows who are interested in teaching science skills workshops.

 Junia JG Beaubrun

Junia JG Beaubrun, PhD
Chief of Biological Analysis Division, ARMY Public Health Command Europe

I manage and supervise laboratory testing for foodborne pathogens, water and environmental testing, vectors, rabies, and some viruses.  I manage staff deadlines and data reviews. I maintain the yearly budget to ensure laboratory functions. I maintain lab accreditation and develop new methods for more efficient testing.

Graduate Student Research Lightning Talks (4:30-6:00pm)

Najah Walton

Impaired endogenous neurosteroid signaling contributes to behavioral deficits associated with chronic stress

Najah Walton, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Neuroscience, Tufts University School of Medicine

 Layan Ibrahim

Cannabis Use and Lower Probability of COVID-19 Pandemic Related Stress in the United States

Layan Ibrahim, Master of Public Health Candidate, Global Health Track, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

 Dennis Ashong

Synthesis of a JJ-450 Analog Towards AR-Based PROTACs

Dennis Ashong, Master's Student, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno

 Maria Hayes

Discrimination and Development: Maternal adversity and the effect on child neurobehavioral development

Maria Hayes, PhD Student, Department of Clinical Psychology, Oregon Health & Science University

Emmanuel Akowuah

Comparable Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Sputum and Oropharyngeal swab samples of suspected COVID-19 patients.

Emmanuel Akowuah, MPhil Candidate, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

Victoria Laney

Molecular MRI for Treatment Monitoring of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma using a Combinational Immunotherapy Regime

Victoria Laney, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Christopher Knapp

Sex-specific variation of catecholamine regulatory proteins may underlie increased risky choice preference following repetitive mild traumatic brain injury

Christopher Knapp, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine

Jina Yi

Therapeutic Potential of Suvorexant on Intergenerational Maternal Oxycodone Exposure

Jina Yi, Master's Student, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Nebraska - Medical Center

Additional Info

  • Presentation Date: Wednesday, 01 March 2023

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