February 3, 2012
Both students are in the honors college and an undergraduate research program, working under Abdul Hamood, their mentor.
Two Texas Tech students took first and second place at the annual American Society for Microbiology, Texas Branch meeting.
Wail Amor, a doctoral student from Lubbock, placed first, and Ann Marie Scott, a junior cell and molecular biology major, placed second in the poster presentation competition.
“We presented our posters to two or three judges separately, and they evaluated us based on our presentation,” Amor said. “The interesting thing is that we are both in the honors college and the HHMI undergraduate research program, and we also work in the same lab under Dr. Abdul Hamood, who is our mentor.”
Amor’s research focuses on invading microorganisms and skin that is destroyed during burn injuries, and using a garlic cream to help keep out these organisms.
“We recently discovered that garlic has a very effective antimicrobial activity,” said Hamood, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Texas Tech. “We formulated the garlic in an ointment to simulate any antibacterial ointment that may be used to cover any infected wounds.”
Scott currently is working with Ted Reid, a professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Texas Tech, and Hamood to examine the effectiveness of the element selenium in inhibiting or eliminating Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Hamood said Scott has tested different formulations of selenium against bacteria strains the lab obtained from burn patients and analyzed her results using confocal laser scanning microscopy.
“Both Wail and Ann Marie are hard working individuals,” said Hamood. “They are very dedicated to their projects.”
The Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas Tech University hosts a variety of academic degree programs aimed toward the advancement of knowledge, learning, teaching and research of the natural world.
The Department hosts a variety of centers and programs focused on the life sciences which provide research opportunities including: