Friday, August 05, 2011
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

Local high school students, teachers taking part in summer research program at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University is serving as host to a group of high school teachers and their students who are participating in a six-week summer research program funded by a National Science Foundation grant.  The program is housed on the Huntington campus.

The five-year grant, Teacher Research Experience for the Advancement of Knowledge (T.R.E.K.), is shared by Marshall, West Virginia University and West Virginia State University.  This is the initial phase of the program which will extend through the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters.  Teachers and students from Cabell Midland, Spring Valley and Tolsia high schools received stipends for their participation in the summer program.

Teachers were invited to bring an interested student to work alongside them while engaging in scientific research on a variety of topics.  The 12 participants teamed with scientists working on the cutting edge of nano and biotechnologies.

Topics offered, but not limited to, included RNA structural analysis; design/development of static RNA nanoarchitectures and mobile nanomachines; aging, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes DNA as a structural material; methods to label specific compounds within nervous tissue of animal models; and microbiology research involving Acanthamoeba.

Teachers taking part are James Coble and Robert McCloud, Spring Valley; Olivia Boskovic and William Strait, Cabell Midland; and Roger Spry, Tolsia.  Students include Jackie Maynard and Diana Ventura, Spring Valley; Mackenzie Blankenship and Kramer Kaplan, Cabell Midland;  and C.J. Shepard,  Taylor Spry and Matt Smiley, Tolsia.

Marshall faculty members participating are Dr. Brian Antonsen, Dr. Eric Blough, Dr. Michael Norton, Dr. Elmer Price and Dr. Wendy Trynza.

A closing reception will take place in downtown Huntington at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at the Marshall Hall of Fame Café, 857 3rd Ave., where students and teachers will present an overview of the research that they conducted alongside MU researchers.

For additional information about the program contact Dr. Tina Cartwright, assistant professor of science education, at, or Stephanie Shrewsbury, outreach coordinator for the College of Science Department of Biology, at

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197