NU senior biology major Sonja Opper's research on the 'Differentiation of SCCmec Types in Staphylococcus spp. in Non-Clinical Isolates' was named Outstanding Research Presentation at the 70th Annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference. Opper, right, is pictured with Dr. Mark A. Gallo, professor of biology.

Niagara University senior biology major Sonja Opper won the Outstanding Research Presentation award at the 70th Annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference, which was held April 2 at Western New England University.

Opper, one of 14 NU students to attend the conference, presented a poster on the Differentiation of SCCmec Types in Staphylococcus spp. in Non-Clinical Isolates. Her research, conducted with Dr. Mark A. Gallo, professor of biology, and the assistance of Niagara University’s Honors Program, focused on the movement of antibiotic resistant genes in Staph.

Only 10 of the 130 submitted presentations were chosen for the Outstanding Research Presentation award.

An East Amherst native, Opper will attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall of 2016.

Since 1947, the Eastern Colleges Science Conference 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. Students may give platform (oral) presentations, poster presentations, and/or full-length papers. A student who submits a full-length paper must also present either a platform talk or a poster. According to the ECSC website, a major benefit of this conference is the opportunity not only to present one’s research in a scientific setting but also to learn as much as possible from others.

Niagara University hosted the event last year.

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