From the 4th to 7th of November 2009, Chengetai Mahomva '11 attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Phoenix, Arizona. Chenge's research advisor Stephen Miller in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department encouraged her to attend. The funding that she received from Sigma XI, the HHMI, the Student Affairs Division and Provost's Office made it possible for her to attend.
ABRCMS started nine years ago with the goal of encouraging "underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including mathematics and providing faculty mentors and advisors with resources for facilitating students' success." This year the conference attracted more than 2500-undegraduate, graduate and postdoctoral scientists. Chenge was immersed in a series of workshops, lectures and mentoring sessions. She even met one of her role models, Dr. Mae Jemison, the first women of color in space.
At the conference Chenge presented a poster titled "Characterization of the ligand-binding site of an Autoinducer-2 receptor ortholog in Rhizobium leguminosarum". She won the award for Outstanding Presentation in the Biochemistry: Structural Biology section and was offered a travel award to present at The Biophysical Society's Annual Meeting next year.