Skip to Main Content

STEM + Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Symposium 2023: Welcome

Dean's Welcome Letter


Welcome to the Miami Dade College School of Science STEM + Interdisciplinary Research Symposium 2023.

A person wearing glasses and a bow tie  Description automatically generatedThis year's Symposium promises to be a groundbreaking event, celebrating the remarkable achievements of our students and the evolution of undergraduate research within our institution. At Miami Dade College, we hold the showcasing of student achievement in the highest regard. It is a cornerstone of our commitment to providing a well-rounded education to our students. For over a decade, our students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been at the forefront of this endeavor. For the second consecutive year, we are delighted to incorporate

disciplines beyond STEM into our Symposium, actively engaging in authentic undergraduate research. This expansion underscores our dedication to utilizing undergraduate research as a powerful tool to offer our diverse student population innovative and high-quality learning experiences that encourage them to question, investigate, and draw conclusions about the natural world.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the enriching world of our students' work and presentations. Our students have taken on challenges across various disciplines, from STEM to Humanities, embarking on real-world, hands-on inquiries while implementing innovative ideas with cutting-edge materials and technology. Our ultimate goal is to equip our students with the enhanced skills required for success in the global workforce. Our esteemed faculty research mentors have achieved this by nurturing students' curiosity and honing their critical thinking abilities.

I commend all our student research participants for their outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields, and we must express heartfelt gratitude to our funding agencies, including the US Department of Education, the US National Science Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additionally, we extend our appreciation to our esteemed collaborators and industry partners, such as the University of Florida, Florida Atlantic University, St. Thomas University, Nova Southeastern University, Florida International University, University of Miami, Galatea Bio, Inc., Applied Biotech, Inc., New Vision Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Kaycha Labs, among others. Your invaluable support has made it possible to bring this extraordinary experience to our students and community.

We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support and dedication of our outstanding faculty and staff. Their commitment, both within MDC campuses and through collaborations with area universities, has been invaluable in providing our research students with the platform to develop essential skills and broaden their knowledge base. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the entire MDC administration, faculty, Bioscience Advisory Committee, School of Science staff, and various units of the college, including Media, Communications, Learning Resources, Campus Services, and many others. Your remarkable assistance and collaborative efforts have been essential in facilitating this significant experience for our students and our community.

We wish you all a truly great Symposium experience! Sincerely,

A blue line on a white surface  Description automatically generated

Pablo Sacasa, PhD

Dean of the School of Science

Keynote Address Speaker

Bulbul Pandit, Ph.D.

Originally from India, I completed my doctoral degree in Bio Medicinal Chemistry from the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University. I developed a fascination and passion for biotechnology and strongly believe that biotechnology if implemented ethically and inclusively can improve human health and longevity globally. Currently, I am a Senior Scientist II and Manager at Proteintech, Inc, Chicago.

As a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I investigated the role of transcription factor FoxM1 in metastasis, and as target for anti-cancer therapeutic development. Additionally, I published peer reviewed scientific articles in Cancer related journals, prepared and submitted grant proposals and animal research protocols.

As a senior scientist at Proteintech, Inc, while I work in the lab on assay development for cytokines and recombinant proteins, large scale culture of mammalian cells, and protein purification, I also manage and lead initiatives on preparation and review of SOP, work instructions and validation documents as part of ISO 13485 certification, development of bioactivity assays resulting in significant cost savings, manage viral testing of cells from CRO, and last but not the least Cross Functional Training in Quality Control.

Outside of work, I am currently serving as Vice-Chair of Young Women in Biotechnology. My most important role, however, is to be a mom to two boys!

Thank You to Our Funding Agencies

Thank you to the funding agencies that help to support our undergraduate research programs at Miami Dade College.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the research material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency. The original research represented at our MDC Undergraduate Symposium is funded in part by:

U.S. Department of Education

STEM AISLE (Advanced Institute for Scholastic Leadership Experience), PR# P120A200007

STEM EngInE (Educate, Intern, and Employ), PR# P031C160143

STEM PACTS (STEM Pathways for Acceleration, Completion, and Transfer Success), Award: P031C210035

STEM SMART (STEM Strategies for Maximizing Achievement, Retention, and Transfer), Award: P031C210028

STEM SPACE (Strategic Pathways to Academic Competition and Excellence), PR# P031C160161

National Science Foundation

S-STEM (Florida Pathways to Success), Award: UFDSP00011889

FGLSAMP (Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation), Subaward FAMU C-5035

CUREs (Building Capacity Hispanic Student Success from 2 year to 4-year Institutions through CUREs), Award: 1832436

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Humanities Edge is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a three-year Community College Pathway Partnership with Florida International University (FIU).