Student Success - Presentation Earns Best Award at Conference
Amari Lewis, a Winston-Salem State University senior computer science major, recently won the best research award in the area of computational biology at the 15th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).
Lewis competed with more than 1,500 undergraduate students from around the world. Her project examined gene mixtures for crop improvement via natural breeding as an alternative to genetically modified organisms.
Lewis’s research was part of a Summer Research Experience Program required by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported MARC U*STAR Program at WSSU. The program is designed to conduct summer research at an off campus location. Following that experience, she participated in Clemson University’s Visualization Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). She now works in collaboration with Azeez Aileru at WSSU as a MARC scholar.
“The WSSU MARC U*STAR program is a great program that provides opportunities for students within STEM fields seeking graduate-level degrees,” said Lewis. “Through this program I gained hands-on research and lab experience in preparation for my future education.”
During the spring semester Lewis is working on a research project with her research advisor, Deb Debzani, and the WSSU computer science department. The goal of this research is to analyze the impact of Big Data and high-performance computing through the progression of Big Data Analytics in the healthcare industry.
While her new research is in a different area from her award-winning research, Lewis notes, “The knowledge I acquired in computational biology as it relates to genomics is priceless.”
After graduating this spring, Lewis plans to pursue a doctoral degree in computer science. In fact, she has recently received her first admission offer to the University of California at Irvine computer science program. There will likely be more.