Brianna Costabile, a Biotechnology major and 2014 George H. Cook Scholar, won one of three awards at the CARIG (Carotenoid Research Interactive Group) Poster Award Competition held as part of the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) at the Experimental Biology Meeting on April 26-30 in San Diego, CA.
Costabile, an undergraduate who conducts research in the lab of Loredana Quadro, professor in the Department of Food Science, won this prestigious research award in a competition that’s generally targeted to graduate students and post-docs.
“Winning the CARIG poster competition award was unexpected, but extremely exciting and rewarding,” said Costabile. “It was also a real confidence boost as I am planning on pursuing graduate studies in biochemistry and this award will hopefully make me a competitive candidate for graduate school.”
Her research project, “Mechanisms of beta-carotene transfer from placenta to embryo in mammals,” focuses on understanding the maternal-fetal transfer and metabolism of carotenoids and retinoids—vitamin A and its derivatives.
CARIG is one of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) Research Interest Sections. Each year it hosts a pre-Experimental Biology Symposium the day before the actual meeting, with a poster competition that recognizes two or three outstanding graduate students and/or postdocs in the field.“Brianna is an exceptionally talented undergraduate student who has been working in my laboratory since 2012,” said Quadro. “Throughout these years, Brianna, who was always highly motivated and interested in learning the “science at the bench,” has blossomed and matured into an amazing young scientist. She is as good as many of the talented graduate students I had the fortune to mentor throughout my career.”
“I do not think that this award was ever given to an undergraduate student before, or at least, not in a long time,” added Quadro.
In addition to a gift card that comes with the CARIG award, Costabile received a monetary award from the George H. Cook Scholars Program to support her travel to the annual meeting.
“I am very grateful to the George H. Cook Scholars program for providing funding for me to attend such a prestigious international biological sciences meeting,” said Costabile. “It was truly an invaluable experience to my future career as a research scientist.”