Undergrad’s Research Presentation Receives Conference Honors

Univ. Communications – In November, junior Sierrah Grigsby, along with three other University of Rochester students, traveled to St. Louis, Mo to participate in the 11th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). This month, Grigsby learned ABRCMS recognized her presentation with an interdisciplinary research award.

For Grigsby, a microbiology major from Beaumont, Texas, ABRCMS was her first research conference experience. “It was really nerve racking, but I felt that my lab had prepared me for the presentation,” Grigsby explained. “When it comes down to it, I just really enjoy telling people about the frogs that I work with and how beneficial they are to the scientific community. Without them my labs tumor model would not exist.”

Grigsby’s research experience began in summer 2011, when she participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship through URMC. She was placed as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Jacques Robert’s Lab, as it aligned with her research interests. Her project focused on validating the results of a current study underway in the lab. “I was looking to validate the results found by my mentor, so we could continue the experiments with confidence that the results were caused by our experiment,” explained Grigsby. After the summer ended, Grigsby stayed on in the lab as a volunteer, where she is trying to duplicate her previous results.

For Grigsby, the work in the lab is preparing her for her future academic goals, which include pursuing medical and doctoral degrees, with the hope of finding a career that combines clinical care and research. “I really enjoy research and delving into the unknown,” she said. “But, I also find satisfaction in helping others in times were they may feel the most vulnerable.  Having both degrees would allow me to work on the two things that I find enjoyable.”

Article written by Melissa Greco Lopes, editor of The Buzz and student life publicist in University Communications. Photos courtesy of Sierrah Grigbsy.