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CBQB hosts third annual research day

University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering’s Center for Bioinformatics and Quantitative Biology 3rd Annual Research Day, November 6, 2023.
Dr. Jie Xiao, Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, John Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering’s Center for Bioinformatics and Quantitative Biology 3rd Annual Research Day.

The University of Illinois Chicago Center for Bioinformatics and Quantitative Biology hosted its third annual Research Day November 6 to bring together students and researchers from many Chicago institutions.

For the first time, the annual CBQB Research Day was expanded to include students from not only UIC, but also from Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Loyola University Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

“We’re eager to see how the participation from non-UIC community will look in the future,” said Meishan Lin, assistant director of the CBQB, biomedical engineering clinical assistant professor, and the event’s organizer. “So eventually we’re trying to provide this platform for students and postdocs in Chicagoland institutions.”

Lin also said the event brings together many different types of perspectives and topics even within UIC as the event includes the College of Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, among others.

“Research Day provides a great opportunity for me to share my research and latest results with UIC research communities and beyond,” said Kenneth Tsui, a BME PhD student who has attended Research Day previously. “As a new researcher, the chance to talk in front of such a large group of audience is hard to come by, and it is very important.”

“Everyone should use this experience to improve storytelling and communication skills, to practice answering questions from the audience, and to receive valuable feedback,” Tsui said. “I also learned a lot from other students’ talks and posters, which covered a wide range of topics outside of my area.”

The event can be used by students to spark future collaborations and provide networking. It also aims to help students and post-doctoral students become more comfortable presenting their work.

“I see the friendship that students are developing on top of the work they do so through networking, they get to see each other, become friends, and the next year I see them sit together at events,” Lin said. “I also see people from different labs forming friendship on top of their work.”

“I gain valuable experience every year,” Tsui said. “After my presentation, I evaluate what worked well, what didn’t, and hope that I can improve next time. Also, giving a talk can be nerve-racking, but with my past year experience, I was able to remind myself to enjoy it a bit more this time.”

The symposium’s organizers awarded prizes to the top three oral and poster presentations at this year’s event. Winners from this year include:

  • Third Place Poster Presentation Award: Aydolun Petenkaya
  • Second Place Poster Presentation Award: Sarah McGuinness
  • First Place Poster Presentation Award: Huiyu Li
  • Third Place Oral Presentation Award: Sarah Bonitatibus
  • Second Place Oral Presentation Award: Akshaya Rajaraman
  • First Place Oral Presentation Award: Kenneth Tsui

This symposium was fully sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Office of Vice Chancellor of Research.