On behalf of the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, we congratulate Caleb Perez, a senior at Kapolei High School, who participated in the 2013 NIH-NIDDK STEP-UP (Short Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons) summer program for his excellent and recognized achievement on his research project. His summer research culminated in the presentation of his findings at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The title of his research project was, “ West Nile Virus NS4B Protein Plays Integral Role in Virulence Highlighting its Potential for Vaccine Development,” under Dr. Pakieli H. Kaufusi and Dr. Vivek R. Nerurkar. The oral presentations were judged based on seven categories – the statement of problem/hypothesis, methods and controls/comparisons, results, conclusion and future work, knowledge of the project, handling of questions, and the overall clarity of the presentation, for which Mr. Perez received PERFECT SCORE of 5 in all categories. Mr. Perez is currently continuing as a volunteer student with Dr. Kaufusi and Dr. Nerurkar at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.
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