NJSGC Sponsored RISE Students Paola Martis and Isabel Morales Win 2023 ABRCMS Award

By Cassandra Schroeder on February 9, 2024

2023 NJSGC sponsored students, Paola Garay Martis and Isabel Meléndez Morales, won the highly
competitive top presenter prize at the 2023 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized
national meeting for their work conducted in Research Intensive Summer Experience at

Paola Garay Martis, undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, presented her
research, “Staphylococcus Aureus Iron Usage: Characterization of a Novel Antibiotic Target.” Martis’s
research findings focused on iron ion homeostasis in the bacterial pathogen staphylococcus aureus, a
bacterium common in healthcare facilities and “responsible for high mortality rates worldwide,” to
uncover genes that provide insight into new antimicrobial targets.

Isabel Meléndez Morales, also an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez,
presented her research, “Computational Studies of the 8-17 DNAzyme In Solution with the Presence of
Magnesium,” studying over a period of time how 8-17 DNAzyme and magnesium meet criteria for
catalytic strategies relating to gene silencing, gene regulating, and virus control.

Martis plans to continue her education pursuing graduate study, potentially at Rutgers University, and
Morales plans to pursue post-baccalaureate research prior to attending graduate school.

Pictures and further details of both award-winning posters can be found here.