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2017 Eveleigh and Cuskey Travel Awards Recipients

Hassan Al-Tameemi

Hassan Al-Tameemi standing next to a poster.

I am grateful for receiving the Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award, which enabled my participation in the ASM Microbe 2017 conference in New Orleans, LA, on June 1­5, 2017. This was the largest event in my research area that I have ever attended. In addition to presenting my poster “Iron Sulfur Protein Assembly: A Viable Target for Antimicrobial Therapy in Staphylococcus aureus," I was able to attend a diverse range of talks from very talented speakers from all over the world. I had great exposure and knowledge from interacting with other talented participants who positively enriched my experience with many ideas for my current research. I am very thankful for everyone who made this travel award possible. I am hoping to reciprocate this generous contribution through intensifying my efforts and sharing knowledge with others.

Kate Annunziato

Kate Annunziato standing next to a poster.

I am grateful for the opportunity to travel to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) thanks to funding from the Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award. During this four-day conference in Minneapolis, MN, I was able to attend numerous presentations and learn about the latest research in ecotoxicology. I presented my poster, titled “Disruption of lipid metabolism in developing zebrafish with exposure to perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs).” This experience allowed me to receive valuable feedback on my research from a diverse group of scientists from academia, industry and government. This conference gave me the opportunity to network with these individuals as well as students from around the globe. This was a fantastic opportunity, and I appreciate this trip being made possible.

Suha Eleya

Suha Eleya standing next to a poster.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award that gave me the great opportunity to attend the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) annual meeting that was held in Denver CO, July 30 to August 03, 2017. At this meeting I presented my work, entitled ‘’Multiple Electron Transfer Components Participate in the First Step of Dioxin Metabolism.’’ This conference was really valuable and useful for me. I met many researchers and professionals from other universities that are doing related or different work. I also gained rewarding experiences and knowledge through attending many sessions and poster presentations offered by the meeting. It was really a great opportunity not only to present my work but also to network and to know what others are doing. So, many thanks for the support from the Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award that I received to present my work and to share knowledge with different people from all around the world.

Rayan Faisal

Rayan Faisal standing next to a poster.

With the funding from the Douglas E. Eveleigh travel award, I was able to attend the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology annual meeting and conference held in Denver, Colorado (July 30th-August 3rd, 2017) at which I presented my poster entitled “Characterization of a silent pathway for biphenyl degradation in Sphingomonas wittichii RW1”. This meeting exposed me to scientists from different parts of the United States who showed interest in my poster and provided valuable feedback. I also attended multiple seminars that focused on recent developments in microbiology and built connections with scientists working on projects related to environmental microbiology. This meeting became more special to me when I knew that my poster was selected by the SIMB judges as the best environmental microbiology poster. All my respect and appreciation to the people who made this award possible.

Jie Liu

Jie Liu.

As a recipient of a Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award in 2017, I was able to attend the Gordon Research Conference - Applied & Environmental Microbiology (GRC-AEM) held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA from July 17 to 21, 2017. GRC-AEM gathered many scientists and researchers all around the world to give presentations on diverse topics. The meeting accommodated all attendants in the college and offered a variety of social activities, which brought us more opportunities to meet and communicate with people after the scientific talks. In this conference, I presented my recent work in the title of “Reductive Dehalogenases from the Marine Sponge Associated Bacterium Desulfoluna spongiiphila,” which won the poster award of the conference. I had great discussions with many people about my research and received valuable comments and feedback from them. Thanks so much for your support to make this possible.

Nicole Lloyd

Nicole Lloyd standing next to a poster.

I am grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the Stephen M. Cuskey Award this year. With this support, I was able to travel to the 7th Congress of European Microbiologists (FEMS 2017) in Valencia, Spain. I presented a poster on my most recent Ph.D. thesis work, part of which I completed at the Université de Lyon 1, in Lyon, France. The title of my poster was, "Horizontal Gene Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Bacteria Isolated from the Gut of the Mummichog Fish, Fundulus heteroclitus". During my poster presentation, I gained valuable feedback on my methods and help in interpreting my results. I made connections with other scientists working on similar topics in Europe. Attending the FEMS conference was a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in microbiology. I listened to many fascinating talks on all different types of work, from medical microbiology, to the latest microbiome research, as well as various career development sessions. I also had a fantastic experience exploring the city of Valencia. I am very grateful to the donors who made this experience possible.

Tiffany Louie

Tiffany Louie.

Thanks to funds from the Stephen M. Cuskey travel award, I was able to attend both the Gordon research seminars (GRS) and conference (GRC) held on July 15-21, 2017 at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. I presented my poster “Halo be thy name: a preliminary glimpse into the genome of Thauera chlorobenzoica 3CB1” at both the GRS and the GRC. It was wonderful having the chance to experience this small, and cozy conference setting. The structure of the GRC: sharing accommodations and meals with other conference attendees provided ample time to talk to and get to know colleagues in my field. During the GRS I got to hear a keynote talk by John Coates about next generation high-throughput methodologies resolving applied and environmental microbiology issues, as well as talks by grad students and post docs from institutions from the US, Europe and Australia. During the GRS, we heard from a panel of speakers working in various non-academic positions on how they ended up where they are now, and the path they took to get there. I found this extremely useful since I would like to move out of academia in the future. During the GRC, I attended talks by speakers from all over the world on topics ranging from microbial production of pharmaceuticals, food starch structure and complexity’s influence on the gut microbiota, fermenters in deep coal bed biospheres, microbial electrochemistry, and archaeon diversity in the subseafloor, to name a few. I am immensely thankful to the donors of this travel award for allowing me this great conference experience.

Javiera Norambuena Morales

Javiera Morales standing next to a poster.

The Stephen M. Cuskey award was used to attend the Astrobiology 2017 meeting held in Coyhaique, Chile from November 26th to December 1st. I had the honor to present 2 posters in the life in extreme environments section, both posters are based on Hg(II) responses triggered on the extremophile Thermus thermophilus. This conference gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about astrobiology, a science that have been considering pursuing during my post-doc. It also allowed me to meet many people from my country, because it was held in Chile where I’m from, and consider some collaboration in the extremophile field. This is of great help for my reinsertion when I finish my PhD, I have many contacts for possible collaborations. I really appreciate your monetary contribution, it made this trip possible. Thank you so much.

Sushmita Patwardhan

Sushmita Patwardhan standing next to a poster.

The Douglas E. Eveleigh travel award enabled me to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology at Denver, CO from July 30th to Aug 1st. I presented a poster and gave a flash talk about mining the genome of a novel bacterial genus that I isolated. It was my first time giving a flash talk, and in front of a big audience! It was a great experience and it helped putting my research out there. This was the second time I attended a SIMB conference, and it was extremely beneficial professionally. I had the chance to attend a lot of talks about microbiomes of different environments, which brought me up to speed on new methods of analyses in the field. I also met a lot of people with different research interests and had great conversations. I am extremely grateful to the donors whose generous contributions made this possible!

Aakansha Roberts

Aakansha Roberts standing next to a poster.

I am grateful for the Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award, which enabled me to attend the 67th Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) Annual meeting and Exhibition in Denver, CO between July 30th and August 3rd, 2017. Thanks to this monetary support I was able to present my poster titled “Characterization of an Integrative and Conjugative Element Isolated from a Contaminated Passaic River Sediment.” There were a number of sessions on environmental microbiology and metabolic engineering from the industrial perspective which provided a great opportunity to network with scientists working in the industry. The conference also provided a number of professional development opportunities. I am thankful that this conference really helped me explore the industrial side of microbiological research.

The Eveleigh and Cuskey Travel Awards

The Douglas E. Eveleigh and Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Awards enable graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology to present their research at conferences across the country and around the world.