31 Oct 2017

Heritage University Students Soar at SACNAS Conference

Heritage University Students Soar at SACNAS Conference

Author: Bob Kao  /  Categories: Campus, Sciences & Technology  / 
Heritage University students shined at the recent Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) 2017 conference in Salt Lake City. The annual conference held October 19-21, was an opportunity for students like ours to present and share their research projects and network with graduate programs.
At SACNAS, Danielle Rodriguez and Alondra Zaragoza-Mendoza gave poster presentations on gene editing using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR). Advances in CRISPR genome editing have made it possible to modify almost any gene in human cells. In computer science, Juan Cabrera presented research on proposed classification methods using sub-optimal sequential methods, genetic algorithms and Random Forest. Also at SACNAS, Rosario Ramírez delivered a poster presentation on using dye stains and fluorescent dye methods to study unicellular organisms including the Tetrahymena species.
The HU students attending SACNAS also included Anitramarina Reyna, and were accompanied by HU faculty Drs. John Tsiligaridis and Bob Kao. Dr. Kao says they were all inspired by various SACNAS keynote speakers, including Dr. Henry Fowler from Diné College who spoke about the film Navajo Math Circles; Dr. Knatokie Ford on social change in STEM fields; and Dr. Mario Capecchi, who won a 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on gene targeting. 
Students and faculty are grateful to receive support from the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) at Heritage University to attend SACNAS, and are looking forward to next year’s SACNAS conference at San Antonio.


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