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2018 Eveleigh and Cuskey Travel Awards Recipents

Hassan Al-Tameemi

Hassan Al-Tameemi standing next to a poster.

I am pleased that I had the opportunity to attend the Microbial Control of Homeostasis in Extreme, Hostile, and Unpredictable Environments conference held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA from July 17 to 21, 2018. Without the support from Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award, this would not have been possible. The conference topics and presentations only focused on microbial stress responses which made them extremely informative and helpful for my field of study. I was able to present my work “Copper Stress in Staphylococcus aureus Involves Perturbing Metal Ion Homeostasis” but also had the opportunity to meet and interact with many researchers and scientist from around world. This interaction enriched my knowledge and gave me more ideas to perform in my project. I am grateful to the donors whose generous contributions made this possible!

Suha Eleya

Suha Eleya standing next to a poster.

I am deeply grateful to be the recipient of the Douglas Eveleigh Travel Award that gave me a great opportunity to attend the ASM microbe 2018 meeting that was held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 07 to June 11, 2018. At this meeting, I participated in the poster session to present my work entitled ‘’The Role of the Megaplasmid pSWIT02 in dioxin and dibenzofuran degradation in Sphingomonas wittichii RW1.’’ In addition to my poster presentation, my abstract was also selected by the meeting committee for Rapid fire talk presentation session. This was a wonderful experience for me to present my work for the first time in a large meeting like ASM. This conference was very valuable and useful for me in which I attended several sessions and talks offered by the meeting. So, many thanks for the generosity and support from the Douglas Eveleigh Travel Award that I got to present my work and to share knowledge with other scientists and professionals from all over the world.

Preshita Gadkari


I sincerely appreciate being funded by the Douglas E. Eveleigh and Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award, as I was able to use this award to partially fund my travels and conference registration with this scholarship. I gave a 15-minute talk in front of 300+ international scientists at the Ecology of Soil Organisms, in Helsinki, Finland on my PhD dissertation research. Additionally, this travel award allowed me to meet in person with a collaborator in Finland, who also attended the conference. Here is a picture of scenic Helsinki at midnight, during the Nordic summer.

Nicole Lloyd

Nicole Lloyd standing next to a poster.

I am grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award this year. With this support, I was able to travel to ASM Microbe in Atlanta, Georgia. I presented a poster on my most recent Ph.D. thesis work, part of which was completed at the Université de Lyon 1, in Lyon, France. The title of my poster was, "Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of three antibiotic and metal resistant 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 across the country. Attending my first ASM 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 Atlanta. I am very grateful to the donors who made this experience possible.

Javiera Norambuena Morales

Javiera Morales standing next to a poster.

The Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award was used to attend to the ASM microbe meeting held in Atlanta from July 7th to 11th. I had the honor to present the poster entitled “Superoxide dismutase and pseudocatalase are responsible for Hg(II) resistance in Thermus thermophilus HB27” in the physiology section. This conference gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about physiology, interact with other “extremophile” people and reconnect with friends made I previous conferences. I really appreciate your monetary contribution, it made this trip possible. Thank you so much.

Aakansha Roberts

Aakansha Roberts standing next to a poster.

The Douglas E. Eveleigh Travel Award enabled me to attend the 17th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME17) in Leipzig, Germany between August 12th and 17th, 2018. I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to present my poster titled “Genetic Characterization of Diphenylether Degradation by Sphingomonas sp. Strain SS3” at the conference and receive feedback from researchers working all over Europe and the world. There were a number of sessions on the mobility of genes in the environment that were of particular interest to me as I also work on the topic. I was also excited for the chance to attend a talk by one of the big names in the field. There were also a number of sessions in the field of Antimicrobial resistance which is a hot topic that interests me. All these sessions provided a great opportunity to learn. The conference also provided a number of networking/socializing opportunities. I am thankful because the conference really helped me explore the research culture outside the US and learn about possible opportunities in Europe.

Spencer Roth

Spencer Roth standing next to a poster.

I attended the ISME 17 conference in Leipzig, Germany in August. Thanks to the Eveleigh and Cuskey Graduate Student Travel award, I was able to present my research on mercury methylation in Alaskan wetlands, attend a week of presentations that will help me develop as a scientist, and network with other scientists from around the world. I learned a great deal during the conference, specifically in the soil and freshwater microbiology sessions. In addition to attending the conference, I was able to explore Leipzig and the surrounding parts of Germany with fellow Rutgers graduate student, Aakansha Roberts. My thanks and appreciation go to the Department of Microbial Biology and Biochemistry and those who make the Eveleigh and Cuskey Travel Awards available!

Yanran Wang

Yanran Wang standing at a lectern.

I am grateful for receiving the Stephen M. Cuskey Travel Award, which enabled my participation in the ISMB (Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology) 2018 conference in Chicago on July 6 – July 10. This is one of the largest conferences in the bioinformatic research community and also the largest conference I have ever attended. I was fortunately invited to give my talk, “Identifying Crohn’s disease signal via variome analysis”, at the TransMed (Translational Medicine Informatics & Applications) COSI (Communities of Special Interest) in ISMB. At the conference, I had the opportunity to talk with talented researchers in our filed and other interdisciplinary fields as well, including how big data is used in the current drug delivery strategy, how genetic variations are interpreted using DNA sequencing and protein structural information, how machine learning techniques are used in solving all kinds of biological problems, and more. I appreciate everyone who generously contributes to the award and made my ISBM trip possible and allow me to share my research with researchers from around the world.

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.