ReBUILDetroit scholars take top awards at national biomedical conference

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More than twenty ReBUILDetroit scholars attended in the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) which is one of the largest communities of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in November. Three of the scholars were recognized for their outstanding presentations in the categories: cancer biology, biomedical physics, and physiology.

For Jada Nelson, ReBUILDetroit scholar from the University of Detroit Mercy and a winner in the cancer biology category for outstanding presentation, the conference strengthened her confidence.

“It gave you a perspective, yes, I can do this,” exclaimed Nelson. “There were others like me doing the same thing. I can move forward especially [knowing there are] people [like me] specifically in my field.”

This was echoed by outstanding physiology presentation award winner, Arren Simpson.

“To see minorities in positions and to hear their stories was inspiring,” said Simpson a sophomore at the University of Detroit Mercy. “ReBUILDetroit gave me an upper hand since I already presented at several BUILD sponsored presentations.”

Efren Munoz, ReBUILDetroit scholar from Wayne State University, was a bit nervous presenting to the six judges who evaluated his poster presentation.

“The conference gave me a lot of confidence,” said Munoz, who was recognized for his outstanding presentation in the biomedical physics category. “It was amazing. I felt like I grew. In the end, it was totally worth it!”


The conference provided an outstanding forum for scholars to network with peers, researchers in their field and make contacts at future graduate schools.

More than 3,000 students from over 350 colleges and universities attended the four-day conference in Phoenix. Poster and oral presentations were presented in twelve STEM disciplines and the highest scored in each scientific discipline received an award during the closing banquet.

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.