May 2020

Congratulations to the second group of RARE graduates. It was virtual, but we’re planning a big in-person party when conditions allow for gatherings of family, friends, and faculty. We are proud of their accomplishments and are looking forward to their progress in graduate school, medical school, and in the workplace. Two RARE students, Xaymara Rivera and Albin Rosado, received prestigious GEM Fellowships and are pursuing graduate studies in physics at Lehigh and civil engineering at Virginia Tech, respectively.



November 13th 2019

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students


The 2019 ABRCMS attendees at the Anaheim Convention Center

The 2019 Lehigh RARE participants at ABRCMS, posing in front of the Anaheim Convention Center (above). Students enjoying dinner with more than 3300 of their peers (below).

Collaboration Meets Inspiration

The Association for Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) brings together over 3000 underrepresented students in STEM fields for talks, poster sessions, and professional development activities. Seventeen RARE students traveled to Anaheim for ABRCMS with the program co-Directors. The RARE program sees this and other conferences as an important professional development experience for our students as they consider their career paths.


  • Presenting Their Work

RARE students with sufficiently advanced research projects present at ABRCMS and other national meetings. Clockwise from upper left left: Isabel Amaya, Akeive Burrows, Long Gao, and Caitlin Murphy. 


  • Experiential Learning

Other HHMI students have been taking advantage of the many programs available here at Lehigh, and brought a different perspective to Anaheim. Sareena Karim, who works on mechanics in Bioengineering, said “...I still was able to still have a good experience because I received a lot of great information from the poster sessions. I even talked to my PI about some of things I learned at the conference that could effect my research in the future. As for the rest of the conference I used the time to network with students, universities, and some buisness professionals. I think that networking is a huge part of being in college and going to a conference as large as ABRCMS because it can really help in the future in my academic career and when I go to industry.” 



September 24th 2019

Travel Awards
RARE Students Granted Awards for Travel and Registration


Opportunities Abound

Two of our RARE students, Long Gao and Destiny West, have both qualified for travel awards, joining more of our RARE cohort in this years’ ABRCMS conference in Anaheim, CA. The conference is an incredible opportunity for our program participants to experience presenting their research, in a professional setting. 


Destiny will be presenting Identification of Bubblegum Coral Using Molecular Tools - "The objective of this project is to identify Paragorgia arborea using molecular laboratory techniques and DNA barcoding, in order to protect these octocorals and understand the evolution of this species."

Long's presentation: Identification of Allosteric Inhibitors of PtP1B through Synergistic Computational and Experimental Approaches - "My project's goal is to find allosteric inhibitors of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) through synergistic computational and experimental approaches. The Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases (PTPs) family is linked to several human diseases such as diabetes and several types of cancer. However, because the PTP family have highly conserved active site sequences and requires highly charged active site-directed substrates with limited cell permeability, PTPs remain largely as untapped therapeutic targets."


Networking with other scientists outside one’s own academic institution is still a rare opportunity in our well connected world. We look forward to the lessons and ideas inspired by this conference to influence our RARE students in their studies.


November 13th 2019

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students