Summer undergraduate researchers present their work

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – More than 40 undergraduate students from 17 institutions have been hard at work in Marshall University laboratories this summer and will have an opportunity to share their research at presentations in the coming weeks.

Each of the students is participating in one of the five intensive undergraduate summer research programs on Marshall’s campus. The nine- and 10-week programs allow undergraduate students to gain valuable, hands-on experience doing graduate-level research in the labs of some of Marshall’s top scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

This summer’s research programs at Marshall include:

  • Biomedical Sciences Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) Program sponsored by Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology/ Minority Access to Research Careers program;
  • Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences (UBM) Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation;
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation;
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program sponsored by the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund; and
  • West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) Summer Research Program sponsored by WV-INBRE and the National Institutes of Health.

While at Marshall, the students have been working on research projects related to a variety of topics, including biomedicine (cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, toxicology and environmental health, and infectious diseases), mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science. In addition to the formal, hands-on research training they each receive from Marshall faculty members, the students are taking part in group classroom activities, workshops and seminars, and social activities.

The WV-INBRE and SRIMS student researchers will present their work in poster format and oral presentations on Thursday, July 28, in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center (oral presentations beginning at 9:15 a.m. and poster session from 1-2:30 p.m.). On Friday, July 29, the SURE and UBM students will present on the fourth floor of the Science Building (poster session from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and oral presentations beginning at 1 p.m.). And on Thursday, Aug. 11, the REU and UBM students will present on the second floor of the Science Building (poster session from 1-3:30 p.m.).

“We are proud to offer these research experiences for undergraduate students. Our summer programs provide important training and education that help make students highly competitive in math, science and engineering research,” said Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of Marshall’s College of Science. “As the culmination of weeks of work they have done this summer, the poster sessions provide an opportunity for students to practice presenting their findings—a necessary skill if they plan to pursue a career in research.”

Dr. Elsa Mangiarua, a professor in Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and director of the WV-INBRE Summer Research Program, added, “We are providing in-depth, mentored research opportunities for very talented undergraduates,” she said. “The programs also promote awareness of graduate degree programs and careers in research.”

Somerville and Mangiarua said that many of the students will continue their research projects during the coming academic year, and some will go on to present their results at professional conferences.

Each student receives a stipend. Depending on the program in which they are participating, they may also receive room and board, lab fees, and reimbursement for travel.

For more information, contact one of the following summer research program coordinators: Diana Maue at maue1@marshall.edu or 304-696-3365, or visit http://bms.marshall.edu/srims (SRIMS); Dr. Marcia Harrison at harrison@marshall.edu or 304-696-4867, or visit www.marshall.edu/cellcentral/biom2/index.asp (UBM); Dr. Howard Richards at MarshallREU@gmail.com or 304-696-6466, or visit www.marshall.edu/reu/description.html (REU); Dr. Michael Norton at norton@marshall.edu or 304-696-6627, or visit www.marshall.edu/sure/2011participants.html (SURE); or Dr. Elsa Mangiarua at mangiaru@marshall.edu or 304-696-6211, or visit www.wv-inbre.net/summerprogram (WV-INBRE).

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Media Note: The July 28 session is the statewide WV-INBRE Summer Research Symposium. In addition to WV-INBRE and SRIMS students who have been doing research this summer at Marshall, that session will include undergraduate students and faculty fellows who have been conducting research at other colleges and universities around the state, as well as high school science teachers participating in the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) program. More than 150 people are expected to attend, including research faculty from institutions across the state.