Student researchers from 11 institutions participating in summer research opportunities at Marshall University

Thursday, June 5, 2014


yellow test tubes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Sixteen undergraduate students from 11 institutions are spending the summer conducting biomedical research in Marshall University’s laboratories. The students are participating in nine-week programs offered through the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) and the university’s Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) initiative.

Dr. Elsa I. Mangiarua is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and directs the WV-INBRE summer program. She said both programs allow participants to gain valuable, hands-on experience doing graduate-level research in the labs of some of Marshall’s top scientists.

“We are providing in-depth, mentored research opportunities for very talented undergraduates,” she said. “The programs also promote awareness of Marshall’s graduate degree programs and available careers in biomedical research.”

Kelly Carothers, who coordinates the SRIMS program, agreed, adding, “This is a chance for these students to do meaningful laboratory research, network with others in their field and enhance their academic competitiveness for graduate school.”

While at Marshall, the interns are working in the university’s state-of-the-art facilities on research projects related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, neuroscience, toxicology, immunological diseases and bioinformatics.

The students will present their research results at a symposium at the end of the summer.

In addition to the formal research training they each receive from their Marshall faculty mentors, the interns are taking part in workshops and seminars about a variety of topics related to research and graduate education. Students in the two programs attend the same seminars and interact socially through a bowling outing, hiking and other special events outside of the laboratory environment.

Students participating in the WV-INBRE summer program include:

  • Rebecca Goydel, Fairmont State University (Dr. Eric Blough, mentor)
  • Alnairouz Katrib, West Virginia State University (Dr. Beverly Delidow, mentor)
  • Ankita Khunt, University of Charleston (Dr. Richard Egleton, mentor)
  • Jonathan Kinder, Bluefield State College (Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, mentor)
  • Kyle Lehosit, Bethany College (Dr. Hongwei Yu, mentor)
  • Renuka Mahatara, University of Charleston (Dr. Monica Valentovic, mentor)
  • Kenny Nguyen, University of Charleston (Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, mentor)
  • Courtney Pierron, University of Charleston (Dr. Sandrine Pierre, mentor)
  • KM Tanim, West Virginia State University (Dr. Travis Salisbury, mentor)
  • Jordan Tate, West Virginia Wesleyan College (Dr. Gary Rankin, mentor)
  • Judith Urbanic, Glenville State College (Dr. Larry Grover, mentor)
  • Linh Vu, University of Charleston (Dr. Monica Valentovic, mentor)

The WV-INBRE program also sponsors summer fellowships for instructors. This year’s fellowship recipient is Dr. Sobha Gorugantula, an assistant professor of chemistry at Alderson Broaddus University, who is working with Dr. Travis Salisbury.

WV-INBRE is funded through a $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Marshall—in partnership with researchers at West Virginia University—received the award to help build expertise in biomedical research.

Students in this year’s SRIMS program are:

  • Luisa Hernandez, Fayetteville State University (Dr. Zijian Xie, mentor)
  • Steven Paniagua, University of California-Santa Cruz (Dr. Jung Han Kim, mentor)
  • Sheryl Vermudez, Chaminade University (Dr. Gary Rankin, mentor)
  • Saidah Wright, Claflin University (Dr. Jung Han Kim, mentor)

Support for the SRIMS program comes from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research, and private donations to the Marshall University Foundation SRIMS fund.

Each intern receives a stipend. Depending on the program in which they are participating, they may also receive room and board, and reimbursement for travel to and from Marshall.

For more information about the WV-INBRE program, visit www.wv-inbre.org or contact Mangiarua at mangiaru@marshall.edu or 304-696-6211. For more information about the SRIMS program, visit www.marshall.edu/bms/srims or contact Carothers at carothers@marshall.edu or 304-696-7279.


Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964