Local LSU student wins poster contest

Published 5:23 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Student researchers from LSU and Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) were recognized for their outstanding poster presentations at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) held in Tampa, Fla. LSU’s Joselyn Knowling, a native of Bogalusa, and BRCC’s Caitlin Cox, a native of Kansas City, Mo., won awards for their poster presentations, in the categories of social and behavioral science/public health and immunology.

ABRCMS is one of the largest professional conferences for underrepresented minority students, military veterans and persons with disabilities pursuing advanced training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year’s theme was “Diverse Voices, Diverse Science: A Future of Excellence in STEM Research.”

Knowling, an LSU junior in biological sciences and undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Samithamby Jeyaseelan in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, is a scholar in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, or IMSD, program. Her poster, titled “Both Interleukin (IL)-1a and IL-b Contribute to Host Protection Against Pulmonary Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection,” was presented in a total of three competitions this past fall semester. In addition to her win at ABRCMS, Knowling won first place at the Phi Zeta competition at the LSU Veterinary School and the top prize for the level one category at the 2016 LSU Undergraduate Research Conference.

“On behalf of the LSU College of Science, I congratulate Joselyn and Caitlin for a job well done. They are an outstanding representation of the top-notch undergraduates involved in research at LSU,” said Cynthia Peterson, dean of the LSU College of Science and Seola Arnaud and Richard Vernon Edwards Jr. Professor. “Conferences like ABRCMS allow students an opportunity to share their research with their peers and professionals throughout STEM fields. It is also a great way to hone their science communication skills, learn about the latest research innovations and explore opportunities for collaboration.”

Knowling plans to receive her bachelor’s degree in May 2018 and enroll in an M.D./Ph.D. program.

More than 4,000 individuals attend the four-day conference annually, including approximately 2,100 undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students and 450 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. ABRCMS also attracts about 1,500 STEM faculty, program directors and administrators. Students from more than 350 U.S. colleges and universities engage in presenting and networking. In this sixteenth year, 1,800 students participated in poster and oral presentations, and 286 awards were given in twelve disciplines within the biomedical and behavioral sciences.