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May 19
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By Josephine Lee

Earlier this month, a team of biology students at The Master’s University won a distinguished award at one of the oldest intercollegiate research conferences in the country.

Students Shaveen De Mel (senior), David Fernando (junior), Shaina Job (senior), and Natalia Soto (senior) presented a poster with original research in microbiology at the 47th Annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference (WCBSURC). Assisted by retired faculty member Dr. Ross Anderson, the team received The Dr. William Eisinger Plant Award (named after the conference’s co-founder) for their work demonstrating the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of green-synthesized silver nanoparticles.

Over 100 posters were presented at the conference by students representing public and private institutions, including California State University, Northridge and University of California, Los Angeles. Several other TMU research teams also participated with posters in the fields of developmental biology and molecular biology.

“It is a great accomplishment to win an award at a national science conference — which is not an easy task to achieve, as we had to compete with hundreds of participants from all over the U.S., including from prestigious institutions such as USC, New York University, Harvard University, and Berkeley,” De Mel said. “Winning the founder’s award is the proverbial cherry on top, as it is one of the highest awards a group can receive from the WCBSURC.”

Anderson has taken a research group to the conference six times, beginning in 2016. The Eisinger Plant Award represents the fourth WCBSURC award achieved by TMU students under his tutelage, and the second award received by De Mel for his multi-year research project.

“We have been blessed to be able to represent the Lord and TMU well by bringing home awards from WCBSURC these past two years,” De Mel said.

With applications in the fields of nanotechnology and medicine, De Mel hopes to continue the project to investigate the properties of Magnolia silver nanoparticles against several types of cancers. He stressed the importance of undergraduate students participating in such opportunities.

“Doing research at TMU allows us and other students to engage in first-hand discoveries of God’s wonders and majesty,” De Mel said. “We testify to the need for students to have research experience and also to present their research in a public forum for evaluation by their peers. The experience is invaluable.”

Learn more about how TMU’s Department of Biological and Physical Sciences prepares students for careers in medicine and research [here].

Josephine Lee is a senior double-majoring in communications and interdisciplinary studies.

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1 Comment

  1. glenn says:

    Do these students believe, as John MacArthur does, that the universe is 10,000 yrs old; that the universe and the earth were created at the same time; that Darwinian evolution is a Satanic lie? If so, how do they face their colleagues in the entire scientific community?

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