PORTALES, NM (08/03/2017) Benjamin Lantz, a senior at Eastern New Mexico University, received the "Top Undergraduate Poster Presenter Award" at the Protein Society's 31st Annual Symposium in Montreal, Canada.
He competed against 150 undergraduates from around the world to win the honor.
The Protein Society's Symposium is an annual event that brings together top protein researchers from all over the world to discuss their new findings and provides opportunities for future collaborations.
The science student's research focused on the "electrostatic effects that salts have on a yeast SH3 domain protein's stability that is also found in humans."
Lantz's award-winning poster contained an outline of the hypothesis, methods and results/conclusions of his research.
He presented his poster during one of three two-hour long poster sessions where judges and researchers had the chance to look-over and discuss posters with their presenters.
"Our lab found out about this event through our PI [principal investigator], Dr. Elliot Stollar [associate professor of chemistry at ENMU], as well as the ENMU HIS-STEM department," explained Lantz.
"Knowing that the Protein Society's Symposium is the largest conference centered around protein research, we were very excited to network with other labs in the same field."
The lab also presented at the 2017 NM-INBRE Symposium, where Lantz gave a talk on his research, and the ENMU 2017 Student Research Conference, where Lantz won one of the categories.
Lantz's future lab-related plan is to publish the research he has been doing, "hopefully within the next year."
He hopes to pursue a career in either dentistry, which he has been "interested in for a number of years" or in a "research field closer to clinical trials.
"I hope to have an impact on others in whatever career I choose."
Lantz was born and raised in Albuquerque with four siblings. His mother is a pediatric cardiologist and his father is a dentist.
The 2014 Manzano High School graduate chose to attend Eastern because he was "given the opportunity to run cross country and track, but also for the small class sizes and ability to work closely with professors.
He is expected to graduate from ENMU with a bachelor's degree in biology with minors in chemistry and psychology in May 2018.