Travel Award Helps Doctoral Student Attend Experimental Biology Conference

Sharmin Hossain
Sharmin Hossain

Nutrition doctoral student Sharmin Hossain attended the Experimental Biology conference in Chicago in April with the help of an $1,850 Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Travel Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

The conference is an annual meeting of six scientific societies related to anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, nutrition, pharmacology and physiology.

At the conference, Hossain presented an abstract based on research for her dissertation, about colorectal and breast cancer and their relationship with vitamin D and the bioactive food component sulforaphane, which is found in vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages.

“I attended several mentored workshops and learned some of the different paths for an academic career. Some folks got their Ph.D. and went straight to a faculty position, others did a few post-docs, and some even worked in industry before transitioning to working in higher education. It was an eye-opening experience for me,” Hossain said.

The travel funds are awarded through a grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. MARC awards promote the entry of students from underrepresented groups into the science community, and the travel award provides funding for registration and travel expenses at scientific meetings.

“I felt extremely privileged to be the one person representing UMass Amherst this year among the awardees,” Hossain said.

“I also received some great feedback from a few of the mentors about pursuing my dream career and how to plan effectively. It was well worth my time and I could not have done it without the support from FASEB MARC,” she says.