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Two students win honors at STEM symposia

Bell tower at Furman University in spring.

Last updated March 22, 2023

By Tina Underwood

Furman University undergraduates, Abby Stapleton ’24 and Dallas Shuman ’25, received recognition at two recent symposiums in their STEM fields.

Abby Stapleton ’24 (left) receives award from Assistant Professor Titus Reaves (right), MUSC College of Medicine, Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology.

Stapleton, a chemistry major on the biochemistry track, received one of two EE Just Undergraduate Research Awards at the same-titled symposium held in Charleston, Feb. 24. Her paper, “Effects of Pdr1 Phosphorylation on Fluconazole Resistance in Candida glabrata,” was based on research conducted last year with Meghan Breen, assistant professor of chemistry.

She presented her work in a forum comprising visiting students from prestigious undergraduate and HBCU institutions across the Southeast. Celebrating the life of noted African American biologist EE Just, the EE Just Symposium is held each year on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina and is hosted by the College of Graduate Studies.

In addition to presentations by prominent biomedical scientists, the symposium provides information to undergraduate students about graduate and professional school opportunities at MUSC. Among this year’s invited keynote speakers was Furman biology alumna Valerie Horsley ’98, now associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Stapleton’s work captured the attention of organizers of the Young Investigators Symposium who invited her to present at the 126th Convention of the Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association to be held in Charleston in April.

Black woman presenting poster, Dallas Shuman '25

Dallas Shuman ’25 (right) presents poster.

Shuman, a neuroscience major, works in the lab of Veronica Lee Flores, assistant professor of psychology. Shuman received the first-place award in the Neuroscience Division at the 2023 SC INBRE Science Symposium held in Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 25 for her presentation, “The Impact of Innocuous Taste Experience on Long-Term Taste Learning and Memory Persistence.”

The symposium attracts undergraduate research students from more than a dozen South Carolina colleges and universities. Drawing nearly 200 participants, it celebrates the biomedical research accomplishments of faculty, students and teachers across the state each year through oral presentations, flash talks and student posters.

The SC INBRE network is sponsored by an award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) fostering the development, coordination and sharing of research resources and expertise among graduate and competitively selected, research-active undergraduate institutions statewide.

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