Columbia State Students Excel at Tennessee Academy of Science Meeting

(L-R) Brentwood resident Miriam Galindo, Franklin resident Annaleisa Matzirakis, and Chapel Hill resident James Bautista.

Columbia State Community College students led by Dr. Elvira Eivazova recently won second place in the microbiology category at the 132nd Tennessee Academy of Science meeting.

Columbia State biology research students Miriam Galindo from Brentwood, Annaleisa Matzirakis from Franklin and James Bautista from Chapel Hill presented their research findings at the 132nd Tennessee Academy of Science meeting held at Tennessee State University. Galindo received second place for her oral presentation titled, “Commonalities of tRNA Present in Cluster A Mycobacteriophage Genomes and Their Effects on M. Tuberculosis Infection.” Matzirakis and Bautista also received second place for a poster presentation titled, “Translational Frame Shift in the Tail Assembly Chaperone Genes in the Novel Bacteriophage SeaWolves.”

“We are so proud of our students’ accomplishments and always appreciate an opportunity to represent Columbia State at different scholarly events,” said Eivazova, Columbia State associate professor of biology and undergraduate biology research coordinator.

The presentations, which were reviewed rigorously by an expert panel, focused on the uppermost cutting edge of biomedicine, a field dedicated to the discovery and study of novel bacteria-infecting viruses, with the goal of fighting multi-drug resistant microbes. The students were also invited to present at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research in April at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The Tennessee Academy of Science, founded in 1912, is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, seeks to promote scientific research in the state of Tennessee. As a nonprofit organization, they organize symposia, manage programs in  varying fields and communicate with the national scientific culture. They also work to diversify the science field by associating with the public and members of other academic arenas.

For more information on the Tennessee Academy of Science, visit

The Columbia State biology department has two courses with discovery and project-based research components, Honors General Biology and Biology Research, which are conducted in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The courses are designed to provide an authentic research experience for students with little to no prior lab skills. For more information, visit

For more information about the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, visit

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