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Immunology Research Student Recognized at Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students

Ravyn Njagu, an undergraduate research student in North Carolina State University’s Comparative Immunology Research Laboratory, received recognition for her immunology poster presentation at the 15th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

A senior majoring in biological sciences, Njagu presented, “Osteosarcoma Induces T Helper Cell Conversion into Immunosuppressive Treg Cells.” The research involves studying mechanisms osteosarcoma uses to overcome a patient’s immune system. A better understanding of this disease process could lead to new, more effective immunotherapies against metastatic disease.

More than 1,700 presentations in 12 disciplines were featured at ABRCMS, which is a conference for underrepresented students interested in pursuing advanced training in science, technology, education, and mathematics. The four-day conference attracted 1,900 undergraduates, 400 graduate students and post-doctoral scientists, and 1,300 faculty, program directors, and administrators from 350 U.S. colleges and universities.

Njagu’s mentors include Jonathan Fogle of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Population Health and Pathobiology who directs the Comparative Immunology Research Lab, oncology researcher Joanne Tuohy of the NC State Comparative Medicine Institute, and genetics professor Trudy Mackey with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Njagu is a participant in the NC State Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity, a program funded by the National Institutes of Health that provides grant support for biomedical and behavioral science research that is directed by Dr. Erin Banks. Njagu’s studies are also supported by a National Research Service Award Training Grant (T32).

Representatives from government agencies, foundations, and professional scientific societies also attended the conference to meet with students and share information about internship opportunities. The conference is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity and managed by the American Society for Microbiology.

Other NC State students recognized at ABRCMS:

  • Senior Kyle Virgil, Chemistry
  • Senior Ebony Leon, Social Sciences and Public Health
  • Senior Rahma Hida, Social Sciences and Public Health
  • Senior Vishwas Rao, Chemistry

For more information on the IMSD program at NC State, please visit www.ncsu.edu/grad/imsd.