Preparation Guidelines

All applicants must submit an abstract along with their registration info.  An abstract is a paper used in academic research to summarize a completed study or other project.  If done well, it makes the reader want to learn more about your research.  

An abstract does not contain references.  It is a paragraph written in your own words, describing your project.  Please see the bulleted items below for an outline of the different parts of an abstract.

Start drafting your abstract now using MS Word, so that as you are registering, you can easily copy & paste then upload your abstract text into the appropriate box on the registration form. DO NOT WAIT until you register to compose your abstract !

Please consider that your abstract will be judged as part of your presentation.  Poster presenters may view the Judging Criteria page under the Presentation Types menu for more information. 

Abstracts which do not comply with the rules outlined below may be rejected.  You may refer to the Sample Abstract at the bottom of this page as a good example. 

  • In general, your abstract should be informative about the entire project.  Judges will look for relevance of the study to the discipline, and also for whether it is written such that persons outside the discipline can understand it.
     
  • TITLE:  The title of your abstract should be in ALL CAPS, and should indicate the overall subject matter of your project.  It doesn't have to be "catchy", just informative.
     
  • AUTHORS' SECTION:  The authors section should consist of a list of all authors' name(s), i.e. students and faculty who have worked on your project, followed by their respective affiliations (department, college, university, city, and state). The first author listed MUST be the student presenter/speaker.  

    Here's an example of a simple authors section with 1 student author and 1 faculty sponsor/mentor.  Please notice how it contains information for the department, college in which the department is housed, and the institution names:

    Jane Doe and Dr. John Doe, Department of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

    If there are multiple authors from different departments, areas, or organizations,  list the authors first, then their affiliations in respective order.  Here's an example:
     
    Laura Lusk 1, Matt Mutel 2, Elaine S. Walker 3, Dr. Foster Levy 1. and Dr. Cecilia McIntosh 1   
    1 Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
    2 Mount Mitchell State Park, 2388 State Highway 128, Burnsville, NC
    3 James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN

  • TEXT:  The abstract text is a paragraph written in your own words, describing your project.  It should be written in one single paragraph and the length of that paragraph should be no more than 3000 characters (including spaces), or about 500 words.  Your abstract paragraph should have three (3) distinct parts:

    1) an introduction which specifically identifies the project’s objective(s) and briefly states the question and hypothesis.  Your question and hypothesis statement should answer the questions:  "Why do we care about the problem? What practical, scientific, theoretical or artistic gap is your research filling?";


    2) a thorough description of the methods and processes used.  This is a very important section, as it should include details of what you actually did to get your results; and,

    3) a summary of the results and conclusions.   You should NOT say "The results will be discussed".  Instead, you should answer the question "As a result of completing the above procedure, what did you learn/invent/create?"  Any conclusions drawn should explain the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem/gap identified in the introduction.  Judges will look to see if your conclusions tie back to the question.
     
  •  Limit your abstract text to approx. 500 words ( 3000 characters including spaces).  Microsoft Word has a Word Count feature -- please use it.
     
  • For some tips on what NOT to do, visit our Abstract Tips page.
     
After you've finished composing your abstract, you may register for the Forum.  Remember these points:
 
  • Before pasting/uploading your abstract into the registration form, ensure that it is accurate and error-free, as no changes will be allowed after the deadline date has passed
     
  • Once you've pasted/uploaded it, make sure that it is complete and appears how you want it to appear in the Program Book.
     
  • Submit your registration and abstract before the deadline, as no late submissions will be accepted, no exceptions.
     

For both oral and poster presentations, the deadline for registration and abstract submission is March 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm.

If all classes at the University are cancelled on March 5 due to inclement weather, the deadline will be Thursday, March 6, 2014.



Sample Abstract:

QUANTITATIVE PCR ANALYSIS OF MOUSE TOLL-LIKE RECEPTORS

Cerrone Foster and John Laffan, Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

The immune system is a complex and varied defense mechanism used to fight disease and infection.  One way the body recognizes infection is through recognition of Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs).  Two known PAMPs, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and glucan, are microbial products that can activate the immune system. However, the intracellular signaling pathways of the immune system are not clearly defined.  It has recently been found that Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are involved in this signaling process.  Stimulation of these receptors by PAMPs can initiate a signaling cascade, resulting in activation of genes needed to illicit an immune response.  We therefore investigated the quantitative regulation of TLR2 and TLR4 in the presence of LPS and glucan.  Using a mouse macrophage cell line (J774a.1 cells), LPS and glucan were added (1 ug/ml) to the cells or equal volume of carrier was added as a control. RNA was isolated at 1,4, and 24 hour time intervals.  The RNA as reversed transcribed using a oligo dT primer and that cDNA was quantified using Quantitative PCR.  Primer sets specific for TLR2 and TLR4 were designed and the reactions were run in a BioRad iCylcer real-time PCR machine.  In the presence of LPS, TLR2 and TLR4 decreased during the early time intervals and dramatically increased at the 24-hour interval.  In the presence of glucan, there was no significant change in TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA over time.  Results of this work identified an early down regulation as well as late up regulation of TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA in the presence of LPS.  This work will be a useful tool in understanding the roles of TLR2 and TLR4 in the immune response.  Understanding the role of these TLRs during immune response can lead to the development of novel drugs to treat disease and infection.