News Release – Four Diné College Microbiology Student’s Invited to ASM-Microbe

L-R: Ian Nez, Tori Fulton, Gilberta Yazzie, Angel Leslie, Harrison Cayatineto
L-R: Ian Nez, Tori Fulton, Gilberta Yazzie, Angel Leslie, Harrison Cayatineto

Four Diné College Microbiology Student’s Invited to Participate in the 2022 American Society for Microbiology Conference


May 4, 2022

TSAILE, Ariz. — Diné College, Medical Microbiology Students and Water researchers are ready to present at ASM-Microbe 2022, Annual International moot of American Society for Microbiology to be held in Washington DC, this summer.

The team submitted 5 abstracts for the annual conference of microbiology “ASM-Microbe” that is scheduled for June 9-13, 2022, in Washington DC. This conference will host one of the largest gatherings of microbiologists in the world. Four out of the five research abstracts submitted by our Medical Microbiology BIO-488 students were accepted for poster presentations. Of the four one research abstract submitted by our USDA- NIFA-TCRGP sponsored research assistant Ms. Tori Fulton, not only got accepted for both poster and oral presentation, but also received a prestigious 2022 Minority Travel Award of $1000 and Complementary conference registration $390. This travel award encourages increased participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in ASM Microbe.

Titles of research presentations includes:

“Neisseria Gonorrhoeae: A Timeline from Mercury to Current Antimicrobial resistance”
(Harrison Cayatineto) Crownpoint student

“Four Corners, Navajo Nation Arizona, and History of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)” (Gilberta Yazzie) Tsaile student

“How Quality of Water Impacting the Remote Communities and Their Health”
(Tori Fulton) Travel award Winner. Tuba City student

“The importance of institutional review boards for tribal data sovereignty”
(Angle G. Leslie) Fort Defiance student

Diné College STEM Professor Dr. Shazia Tabassum Hakim personally attended the ASM General Moot for the very first time in 2003 as a newly enrolled doctoral student from Pakistan, and since then, she has attended this moot every year. Initially as a student and now as a premium member. “I was introduced to ASM by my PhD supervisor Prof. Dr. Shahana Urooj Kazmi (a university of Maryland alumnus, and current Vice Chancellor Women University, Swabi, Pakistan) and now I am introducing my microbiology students to this wonderful forum where we get the chance to interact with the microbiologists from all over the world, share the knowledge, learn from each other’s experience, and display our work. I know our students are our torch bearers, who will acquire a lot through this magnificent opportunity and exciting experience,” said Dr. Hakim, who is also the PI of the USDA-NIFA-TCRGP wastewater decision support grant.

“Our students, our Navajo youth are hardworking, enthusiastic, and brilliant. Their interest in solution based learning and local issues like water scarcity, infections, diseases, and agriculture is obvious from their work. It is good to see these folks coming forward representing Navajo Nation and Diné College and set good examples for their followers,” added Benita Litson, Land Grant Office Director, and Co-PI of this wastewater decision support grant.

“Participation of Dine School of STEM students in this international meeting will open their exposure to expanding fields in microbiology and infectious diseases. I am excited to hear back from them about their experience and how it impacts their future endeavors,” said James Tutt, School of STEM Dean.

Diné College is a four-year tribal college located on the Navajo reservation with six campuses and two microsites across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah and primarily serves Navajo students. The school offers 20 bachelor degrees, 16 associate degrees, and 6 certificate programs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The College, established in 1968.


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