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S. Florida Students to Showcase Original Cancer Research, Among 70 Projects at Undergraduate Research Symposium, March 16


Top S. Florida College Science Students to Showcase Original Work

Miami, March 7, 2013 - More than 70 promising college students from the tri-county area will showcase their original scientific endeavors at the STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium, an inaugural event hosted by Miami Dade College (MDC) and Life Sciences South Florida (LSSF) on Saturday, March 16, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Held at MDC’s North Campus Science Complex, 11380 NW 27th Ave., the symposium will showcase the high-caliber research work of South Florida’s brightest undergraduate students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. All of south Florida’s state colleges and universities, including Miami Dade College, will participate.

Of the student exhibitors, MDC graduating senior, Aixa Guadarrama, will detail her original findings on the role of microRNAs in breast cancer tumors and immunological profiling. MicroRNAs are currently one of the most prominent topics in international cancer research.  

Other students from regional institutions have taken on environmental issues, such as the rate by which invasive Cuban tree frogs prey on the native species in South Florida or how locally-grown parsley can be used to purify water and remove heavy metals. The research symposium will give students valuable experience, as they gain recognition for their original work from the intercollegiate community industry professionals.

Internationally recognized scientist and inventor Dr. Edith Widder will deliver the keynote address. She is the co-founder and President of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association, and a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Recently, she was featured in Discovery Channel’s groundbreaking documentary “Monster Squid: The Giant is Real.” Dr. Widder joined the giant squid hunt in 2010 at the behest of Discovery Channel, in the network’s quest to capture the legendary, but highly elusive creature on film.

“In alignment with the strategic goals of the Miami Dade College and Life Sciences South Florida, this symposium provides an opportunity to strengthen programs designed to increase STEM student and workforce development within the region,” says MDC’s College Provost Dr. Rolando Montoya, who also serves as MDC’s representative on the Life Sciences South Florida Executive Committee.

 LSSF aims to establish an industry cluster in South Florida focused on life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and information technology. Member universities, state colleges, research institutes, and research parks utilize their collective assets and facilitate collaborations with economic development councils and regional, state, national, and international industries, governments, and communities.

"We are euphoric that MDC North Campus will serve as the first host for this prestigious event and welcome Dr. Widder, as she introduces our students to the scientific mysteries of deep sea exploration," says Dr. José A. Vicente, MDC North Campus president. 

Life Sciences South Florida STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium

  • WHEN: Saturday, Mar. 16, 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
  • WHERE: North Campus Science Complex (Building A), 11380 NW 27th Ave.

For more information, please contact the dean of MDC’s School of Science Dr. Heather Belmont at 305-237-1757.

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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