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Christina Jones, ReBUILDetroit scholar, identifies herself as part of the scientific community after attending the Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign last month.
“I am so thankful for being able to attend the conference,” Jones said. “The experience brought me closer to my lab team and made me feel a part of the larger scientific community.”
This past summer, Jones spent seven weeks in ReBUILDetroit’s Summer Research Program with her mentor, Dr. Eric Krukonis, in his laboratory at University of Detroit Mercy’s Dental School.
"I have been so excited to be a mentor for the ReBUILDetroit program,” Krukonis said. “It is an exceptional opportunity for students to be on the front lines of research at an early stage in their undergraduate education. It is also a chance for the hosting laboratories to share their vision and enthusiasm for the work they do and to develop the next generation of research scientists.”
For Jones, it provided a first-hand opportunity to see researchers present their work.
“There were scientists of every race and ethnicity, gender and age,” Jones said. “I saw researchers that looked like me.”
Conference attendees who listened to Jones’ poster presentation were surprised to learn she was an undergraduate and impressed with all she accomplished in the lab this summer.
“It was a major boost of confidence,” Jones said. “I genuinely love what I do and being able to share it with others.”
“I was so proud to bring Ms. Jones along to the Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference and have her share her work,” Krukonis said. “Given her extensive research experience this summer, she was able to describe her project and poster effectively and in great detail. It is a true testament to the quality of the ReBUILDetroit research experience."
The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.