Ursinus Students Present Biology Research in San Diego

Kathy Logan 



Vol. 52/ Issue 11

The ASBMB (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) had its annual conference in San Diego, California from March 22-26. This year, two Ursinus seniors in the Biochemistry department were accepted to present: Zoe Moosbrugger and Kyle Schantz, class of 2024. Moosbrugger is a BioChemistry major and Schantz is a Biology major. Both seniors, with the help of Dr. Wilner, submitted their work to the conference and were delighted to see that their hard work had been recognized.

Moosbrugger and Schantz were interviewed about her project and her experience at the ASBMB conference. In this interview, Moosbrugger was asked what presentation they had submitted. Moosbrugger stated, “We presented two posters. One of our most recently published works from Dr. Wilner’s lab and then another discussing the BASIL lab program run between the biochemistry and structural biology labs. The BASIL lab program is a course-based research experience that uses traditional biochemistry laboratory methods along with computer techniques to study proteins. Presenting the BASIL lab program was my favorite as I am a fan of researching proteins.” Schantz was then asked why the two had decided to submit an application for this presentation. He answered, “Dr. Wilner suggested that we should attend a conference to experience what it is like and have a chance to present our research, especially as we are seniors who are pursuing graduate school that involves research. Also, we have recently just published a manuscript for our research, so it was a great opportunity to present that information!” 

Moosbrugger also explained her experience at the conference. She said that she thought the conference went great as “the presentations went well. For our BASIL poster, we participated in the undergraduate poster competition and got a lot of great feedback and support from the judges.” Schantz then went more in-depth about their project, explaining that, “While our research is more focused on nucleic acids, we thought this conference best aligned with both our research and our interests within other presenters.” Moosbrugger then went on to say that she was a bit nervous before going to this conference and presenting. She said, “This is our first ever official or professional conference outside of Ursinus. I have only presented at CoSA, which luckily gave me the practice and experience I needed to present at ASBMB.” She continued, “Attending this conference was very beneficial for Kyle and I.” Schantz agreed with her statement as he also thought the presentation was successful: “We presented during a poster session and had multiple students and faculty from other schools visit our poster and ask us questions. We were also able to attend many other presentations and learn about current research all across the country.” 

Both were then asked if they would recommend other students participating in conferences like this and Moosbrugger answered, “Yes. I wholeheartedly believe that these conferences will benefit students a lot. It helps to not only build connections and give you experience in presenting, but it also gives you the opportunity to see other presentations from other students.” 

Schantz also had a positive statement about attending conferences. He said, “Definitely a worthwhile experience. I hope that everyone who is involved in research has the opportunity to present at conferences to both improve their own presentation skills and also learn from other  researchers.”

Overall, Zoe Moosbrugger and Kyle Schantz had a great time at ASBMB and highly recommend to any student, no matter their major, to take the chance and go to these conferences!