By Graduate Student Ariel Friel
On April 21, 2018, the Arizona/Southern Nevada Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science (ANAS) held a joint regional conference at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This event marks the 57th annual aeeting of the Arizona/Southern Nevada Branch of the ASM and the 62ndAnnual Meeting of the ANAS. The meeting was attended by more than 200 people. In addition to the host institution (UNLV), attendees from several other regional institutions (Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University), community colleges, and science vendors were present. The distinguished guest speaker for the conference was Dr. Beronda Montgomery from Michigan State University, who gave a fascinating and insightful talk titled, “First Insight into Second Messengers: Roles of Cyclic Dinucleotides in Environmental Responses in Cyanobacteria”.
Of the more than 200 in attendance, over 65 individuals presented either an oral talk or poster. These presentations were given by undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, and covered a wide breadth of microbiology research including cell and molecular microbiology, environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, microbial pathogenesis, and immunology. Several individuals were recognized for their impressive ability to communicate their scientific findings. Of the graduate student talks, Melissa Schofield (UNLV) and Christopher Yip (UNLV) were awarded first place. Runner-up awards for the graduate student talks were given to Jillian Socea (UNLV), Chrisabelle Mefferd (UNLV), Bianca Cruz (ASU), and Victor Jimenez (NAU). Of the graduate student posters, Lara Turello (UNLV) was awarded first place. Runner-up awards for the graduate student posters were given to Joy Immak (UNLV), Chandler Hassan (UNLV), Mark Reynolds (ASU), and Josh Sackett (DRI/UNLV). Of the undergraduate student talks, Rebekah Turner (NAU) was awarded first place and runner-up was given to Miranda Yousif (ASU). Of the undergraduate student posters, Nan Qui (ASU) was awarded first place. Runner-up awards for the undergraduate student posters were given to Amaless Nunnally (NAU), Shelby Hutton (NAU), Ryan Moreno (NAU), Mimi Mbegbu (NAU), Kevin Roy (ASU), and Jayme Jackson (ASU).
A special thanks to all participants, awardees, and sponsors (Springer, Macmillan, Bergey’s Manual Trust, VWR International, the ASM, and the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology Lecturers).