MARC U-STAR scholars Alejandra Villegas and Anthony Smith won research awards at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) that took place Nov. 1-4 in Phoenix, AZ. ABRCMS is one of the largest professional conferences for underrepresented students in biomedical research funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Villegas received her award for Best Poster Presentation in Microbiology for research she did during her summer externship in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. Anthony was awarded Best Poster Presentation in Biochemistry for presenting research done during his summer externship in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University. Approximately 300 of the 2,500 students in attendance earned awards. Villegas and Smith were joined at the conference by six classmates whose conference travel expenses were funded by NIH/NSF grants at Northeastern and travel awards from the NEIU Foundation and ABRCMS: Rhys Gunther, Ryan Borchert, Josue Franco, Victoria Puccini, Chido Chikuturudzi and Omar Payan Parra. These students represented the labs of Biology and Psychology faculty members Cindy Voisine, Michael Stern, Emily Booms, Emina Stojkovic, Jorge Cantu, Shannon Saszik and David Kern.