Bioengineering News

Student receives second in poster competition

At the 2009 Louis Stokes South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-SCAMP) undergraduate summer research conference, senior Anita Smalls tied for second in the poster competition.

Organized in 1992 and restructured in 2002, LS-SCAMP is one of the oldest and most successful alliances established in South Carolina. The LS-SCAMP program is a collaborative effort between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and twelve institutions in South Carolina. The overall goal is to increase the quality and quantity of underrepresented minority students who complete baccalaureate degrees in STEM disciplines and who successfully transition to pursue advanced graduate STEM degrees. Currently, 68% of BS degrees awarded to minority students in STEM fields in the state of South Carolina are produced by SCAMP institutions.

At the conclusion of the summer, LS-SCAMP participants presented their research; Smalls’ poster highlighting the work she completed in Dr. Bruce Gao’s Biophotonics lab under the mentorship of Zhen Ma earned her second place in the poster competition. Smalls spent the summer researching cell sorting as a Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institute (BBSI) participant.

Smalls’ research topic, “Digital imaging processing for laser guidance based cell sorter,” is an important branch of Dr. Gao’s recently funded project. Cell sorting by laser guidance is an innovative way of analyzing cells in vitro, and digital imaging processing is used to measure the guidance speed of the cell along the laser beam. Thus, cells with different properties can be effectively distinguished.