Summer undergraduate research poster session to be held at SMHS Aug. 1

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the Summer Undergraduate Research poster session on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). The one-day event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the second floor of the UND SMHS building at 1301 North Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND.

For the past 10 weeks, 40 students from UND, as well as from rural and tribal colleges in North Dakota, Minnesota, and across the nation have conducted research and participated in a number of related educational activities. Students worked shoulder-to-shoulder with their mentor scientists from the UND Department of Biology, the UND SMHS Departments of Pathology and Biomedical Sciences, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

One of the goals of the summer research program is to provide students with the opportunity to work directly with an established research scientist. An additional goal is to recruit students from rural and tribal colleges for future participation in UND undergraduate and graduate programs. The program is designed to bolster the workforce pipeline of biomedical research scientists and healthcare professionals. Over the course of the summer students received specialized laboratory training. In weekly professional development sessions, undergraduates learned about a variety of research areas, how to conduct research responsibly, the particulars of science writing, and the basics of the graduate and medical school application process. At the end of the summer, students present their research work in an on-campus poster session. Their research has implications in the areas of cancer, drug addiction, epigenetics, Lyme disease, and neurological disease. Other research projects included environmental influences on regulation of cortical development and function, dynamics of cell-fate choice and cell state transitions, immune/brain system interactions, learning and memory, neural stem cell fate, sex-determination in turtles, stress tolerance in nematodes, and wing development in moths.

In addition to UND, this year’s participants are from Ana G. Mendez University, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, N.D.; Carleton College, Northfield, Minn; College of the Sequoias, Visalia, Calif.; Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.; Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas; Lake Region State Community College, Devils Lake, N.D.; Nassau Community College, Garden City, N.Y.; Samford University, Birmingham, Ala.; Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pa.; Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Ore.; Southern Virginia University, Buena Vista, Va.; Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala.; Unity College, Unity, Maine; University of Minnesota, Crookston, Crookston, Minn.; University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Wis.; Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb.; and Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.

Funding for the students came from a variety of organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Office of the Dean at the UND SMHS.