ASU Student Wins First-Place Prize at National Scientific Conference

Terrell Hilliard, an Alabama State University master of science candidate in biology, and a National Institute of Health scholar, took home a first-place prize for his research at the 2018 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Washington, D.C.

“It was an honor and pleasure for me to attend the ERN conference and present my work. Winning first-place meant the world to me because I worked and studied hard for my presentation,” Hilliard said. “I practiced and rehearsed before I boarded the plane, during the plane ride and even afterward while at the hotel. Winning first-place really solidified in my mind that hard work does pay off.”

Hilliard’s graduate oral presentation (biological sciences category) was titled, “Accelerating Wound Healing Process using Biomaterials in ‘In Vitro’ 3D Air-Lift Skin Culture Model and Fabrication of 3-D Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering using Wet-laid Technique.”

“Wound healing is a natural process, but there still remains major public health issues because burns/deep tissue damages either fail to, or slowly regenerate,” Hilliard said. “Our developed 3D polymeric skin model will be efficacious in accelerating wound healing and deep tissue damages.”

Terrell’s thesis research is supervised under the direction of ASU researcher Dr. Vida A. Dennis at the Center for NanoBiotechnology Research (CNBR).

The ERN Conference is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The conference seeks to highlight the research of undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit. In particular, the conference is aimed to help college and university undergraduate and graduate students enhance their science communication skills and enhance their competitiveness for science careers in the global workforce.

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