Student Presents Research During SACNAS Conference

December 12, 2019

Alexa Saavedra, Strategic Communications Coordinator

Biology student, Tasheka Dillon, presented her research on the Resistance of Aedes Mosquitoes in San Antonio during the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) – National Diversity in STEM Conference in October.

Tasheka worked with Dr. Megan Wise De Valdez from Texas A&M University-San Antonio to conduct vector surveillance by examining insecticide resistance assays to monitor the susceptibility of mosquitoes to different insecticides. “After the Zika outbreak in 2016, mosquito control surveillance became increasingly important however, there wasn’t anything set in place back then to irradiate mosquitoes effectively,” said Tasheka. The research was in efforts to set a baseline for insecticide resistance in the City of San Antonio. 

“The process was a fun experience for me to learn about mosquitoes and explore a different side of science. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy research; I came back home wanting to do more”, she said.

Tasheka researched for approximately 10 weeks to prepare for her presentation during the SACNAS Conference that took place in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 3-day event serves to equip, empower and energize participants for their academic and professional paths in STEM. Over the course of the three days, students and professionals are immersed in cutting-edge scientific research and professional development sessions. The event also featured motivational keynote speakers, a Graduate School & Career Expo Hall and multicultural celebrations.

“It was very empowering to see young scientists like myself presenting groundbreaking research conducted in labs across the United States. Attending the conferenced made me realize the importance of research and its impact on our community. The experience changed my life,” she said.

Tasheka captured her research in a digital story, watch her journey below.