Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Around Campus | Infection, Inflammation & Immunity (Triple-I) | Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity | April 15, 2015
Every academic year, four travel awards are given by the Department of Microbiology
& Immunology to graduate students to present at one of the following
annual meetings: American Association of
Immunologists, American Society for
Microbiology, and American Society for
We are proud to announce the recipients of the second annual
Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Student
Travel Award are Curtis Clark, Meghan Guzman,
Helia Nasrollahi, and Stacey Stahl.
Guzman and Nasrollahi are both Ph.D. students in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program and mentored by Dr. Paolo Casali.
Stahl is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and is mentored by Dr. Phillip LoVerde.
Clark, a graduate student in the M.D. /Ph.D. program will be
attending the annual meeting for the American
Association of Immunologists which will take place May 8-12 in New Orleans.
“Attending this preeminent conference directly related to my
research training should be an invaluable experience in my development as a
future investigator,” Clark said.
Clark explained that he is looking forward to learning the
latest developments in the field of immunology such as new state-of-the-art
Currently, Clark is working in Dr. Tyler Curiel’s
lab where he is researching cancer immunology.
“I find this field fascinating in that we are able to study
the role of the human immune system in fighting cancer, an amazingly complex
interaction that has evolved over a vast period of time,” Clark said. “I find
it intriguing in that we are essentially looking at a snapshot of one of
nature’s more peculiar and ongoing experiments that is the evolution of cancer
mechanisms that evade the immune system’s ability to destroy malignant cells.”
In addition to attending the conference, Clark will be
presenting his abstract, “B7-H1/PD-1 signals in carcinoma and lymphoma
immunopathogenesis and immunotherapy.”
“I am thrilled by this honor and look forward to reporting
our influential findings,” Clark said. “I especially look forward to receiving
feedback from leaders in the field -- this dialogue will invaluably influence
both my work and scientific development.”
Clark is grateful for the support that he has been given by
the Department of
Microbiology & Immunology at UT Health Science Center.
“Attending a national conference is a considerable financial
commitment,” Clark said. “The Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Travel
Award is a huge support to students in making attendance to prestigious
research conferences feasible and without monetary worry.”
Dr. Casali, chairman of the Department of Microbiology
& Immunology, said that it was a difficult decision for the committee.
“They were chosen based on their productivity, academic
rigor, along with an eagerness to learn,” Dr. Casali said. “All of them wanted
to go, but unfortunately we can’t send all of them.”
Kay Eskew, academic coordinator in the Department of
Microbiology & Immunology, explained that the annual meetings are important
because they allow students to gain new experiences.
“The more experience that students get answering questions
from talking to other scientists and giving presentations to audiences that
they are not familiar with then they will be better able to communicate as
scientists,” Eskew said. “It’s a very good educational experience because it
helps prepare them moving forward in their careers.”
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