Alexandra Kiedrowski received an award for best poster in environmental biology for her research with Dr. William Edwards and Dr. Cassandra Marnocha at the annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference on April 13, 2024.

Approximately 170 students and faculty from 16 universities, including 19 students from Niagara University’s departments of biology, chemistry, and psychology, participated in the 78th annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference on April 13 at Niagara University. This marks the fifth time Niagara has hosted the forum.

“The ECSC provides undergraduate students an opportunity to showcase the results of their research as either platform or poster presentations,” said Dr. Walter Steiner, NU professor of biology who served as organizer and chair of the 2024 ECSC planning committee. “For many undergraduates, the ECSC is their first large science conference and is intended to encourage students to pursue careers in science.”

Dr. Arthur Michalek, professor emeritus, cancer control  and prevention at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and a research professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo, gave the keynote presentation, “Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Life in Research.”

Several students received awards for their presentations; among them were NU students Kathryn Bednarz, Michael Trapasso, Alex Cegielski, and Cecilia D’Alberto in Dr. Mary McCourt’s lab, who were recognized for best poster presentation in chemistry (Cholestosome™ Encapsulated PARP Inhibitors in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) Cells); and Alexandra Kiedrowski in the labs of Dr. William Edwards and Dr. Cassandra Marnocha, who was honored for best poster in environmental biology (Exploring AMGs and Their Impact on Carbon-Cycling Genes in Devil’s Bathtub).

This year’s conference was held in memory of Dr. Robert Greene, longtime NU biology professor and chair of the department, who served on the ECSC board for 15 years.

The Eastern Colleges Science Conference is the oldest, continuous, annual science conference for undergraduate students in the United States. Since 1947, it has provided a forum for undergraduates to present their empirical research in the natural, behavioral, and social sciences, computer science, mathematics, and engineering, using the general format of a professional meeting.