UCSC students earn awards at SACNAS national conference

SACNAS award winners (from left): undergraduates Carla De Los Santos, Donez Horton-Bailey, and Desiree Tax; alumna Natalie Garcia (now a graduate student at the University of Washington); and graduate student Carolina Reyes. Photo by Malika Bell.

Four UC Santa Cruz students received awards for their research presentations at the 2010 SACNAS National Conference held in Anaheim in October. SACNAS (the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) is a national society with a 37-year history of supporting minority scientists and science students.

Graduate student Carolina Reyes won an award for Best Oral Presentation from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP). She presented the results of her research on the role of multiheme cytrochromes in the reduction of iron by certain microorganisms. Reyes works in the laboratory of Chad Saltikov, associate professor of microbiology and environmental toxicology.

Three UCSC undergraduates won awards for their poster presentations. Carla De Los Santos won a DOE/NSHP award for her presentation on the annotation and analysis of a newly discovered mycobacteriophage genome. De Los Santos, who is majoring in bioengineering and molecular, cell, and developmental biology, did her research in the labs of Manuel Ares and Grant Hartzog, both professors of molecular, cell, and developmental biology.

Desiree Tax also won a DOE/NSHP award for her poster presentation on synthesis of zeotype aluminoborates. Tax is a chemistry major working in the laboratory of Scott Oliver, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Donez Horton-Bailey won the SACNAS Martha Contreras Memorial Award for his poster presentation on a comparative study of the performance of semiconducting polymers in luminescent solar concentrators. Horton-Bailey is majoring in applied physics and linguistics and conducting research in the lab of Sue Carter, professor of physics.