SURE program selects 13 undergraduates for research fellowships

Thirteen undergraduate students have been selected to receive the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Fellowship at Marshall University for 2013.

SURE is aimed at undergraduates who are interested in performing research, according to Dr. Michael Norton, professor of chemistry and director of the program. Norton said SURE will fund thirteen research projects that have been selected for support by the SURE proposal evaluation committee.

“We want students to know how strongly Marshall supports undergraduate research,” Norton said. “This is the time when these young minds start utilizing their research skills in preparation for graduate school.”

The program has been conducted at Marshall since 2005, and is funded through the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund, administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Science and Research.

Students will receive stipends totaling $4,000 each for their research for a period of ten weeks uninterrupted by classes during the summer. The SURE program, now in its ninth year, will begin Monday, May 20, and end Aug. 2. The awardees and their hometowns, majors, projects, and research mentors are listed below:

  • Tanner Bakhshi; Ironton, Ohio: Molecular Biology; A Foundation for DNA Structures; Dr. Michael Norton
  • Heath Blankenship; Huntington; Biology; Epigenetic Role of MLL2 in Spermatogenesis; Dr. Guo-Zhang  Zhu
  • Hannah Bott; St. Albans, W.Va.; Chemistry; Probing a Complex Dissociation Energy Surface with Experimental and Theoretical Methods; Dr. William Price
  • Amber Campbell; Woodstock, Va.; Biology; Effects of phthalates on stem cells; Dr. Nadja Spitzer
  • Arrin Carter; Biology; Wytheville, Va.; Biological Engineering of a Neural Migratory Stream; Dr. Elmer Price
  • Sumaiya Chaudhry; Huntington; Biochemistry; Detecting Forces in a Reference Frame; Dr. Sasha Zill
  • Erin Fankhanel; Huntington; Biology; Nano-therapy for sepsis induced lung injury; Dr. Eric Blough
  • Lindsey Harper; Belington, W.Va.; Psychology; Birth Practices Meta-Analysis; Dr. Paige Muellerleile
  • Nguyet Le; International student from Vietnam; Chemistry; Combinatorial Approach to Studying Metal; Dr. Timothy Corrigan
  • Brianna Mayfield; Weirton, W.Va.; Biotechnology; Cell Culture Bioassay Development for Prymnesium parvum Toxins; Dr. Elizabeth Murray
  • Cody Stover; Point Pleasant, W.Va.; Chemistry; Bioavailability of Capsaicin in Small Cell Lung Cancer; Dr. Piyali Dasgupta
  • Brian Warner; Ironton, Ohio; Chemistry; Thermal Decomposition of Propionaldehyde; Dr. Laura McCunn
  • Christian Warner; Ironton, Ohio; Chemistry; Synthesis and Characterization of DNA/Dendron; Dr. Scott Day

The SURE program also has a Web page with more information including last year’s awardees and their projects, at