MSOE junior Katie Hornberger received a second place award for her presentation at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The objective of the conference, which took place in Washington D.C. in late February, was to help undergraduates and graduate students enhance their science communications skills and better understand how to prepare for a science career in a global workforce.

“We were judged on our abstract, the layout of the poster, and how we presented it,” Hornberger said. “I was really surprised to win second place in my category—Microbiology, Virology and Immunology.”

Hornberger, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomolecular engineering at MSOE, presented a poster about research she conducted last summer when she participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The research was funded by Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI-REM) and the UW-Madison REU program.

Hornberger’s research involved using mammalian cell culture of human intestinal cells to test the impact of Lactobacillus casei, a common gut microbe, on intestinal inflammation.

“It’s a really good experience to have people who are experts in their field asking you about your research,” Hornberger said. “It can be intimidating, but it’s also really cool because they have lots of insights.”

Hornberger, originally from Green Bay, plans to pursue a graduate degree in chemical and biological engineering after completing her undergraduate degree at MSOE.