WV-INBRE Summer Research Program Wraps Up With Annual Symposium

Undergraduate college students, the majority from West Virginia, showcased their summer research projects at Marshall University in July as part of the 12th Annual West Virginia IDeA Network for Biomedical Research (WV-INBRE) Summer Research Symposium.  The projects, which were researched under the direction of faculty mentors during an intensive 9-week period, included studies on the treatment of chronic low back pain, treatment and prevention of obesity, the pathophysiology of infectious diseases, the harmful effects of diabetes on brain and cardiac function among others.

WV-INBRE, which is designed to support biomedical research in the state, is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Marshall University, in cooperation with West Virginia University and eleven other colleges and universities in the state.  The summer program allows students at undergraduate institutions research opportunities in labs at both Marshall and WVU. In addition to the formal research training they receive, students attended workshops and seminars aimed at helping them understand the research process and graduate education.
The morning session of symposium began with oral presentations by:

  • Dr. Cara Halldin, alumnus of the WV-INBRE program and currently Epidemiologist at CDC, NIOSH in Morgantown , WV
  • Jessica Allen, Rebecca Martin and Sricharan Mahavadi, Summer Research Program Interns
  • Dr. Jennifer Franko, Biology Professor at Bethany College, Summer Research Program Fellow
  • Kathy Loughman, high school science teacher at John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, WV, WV-INBRE/HSTA Fellow

This year's summer research symposium featured keynote speaker Brad Goodner, Ph.D., professor of Biology at Hiram College in Ohio. 

Following a luncheon, the symposium continued with information sessions on bioinformatics (Drs. Don Primerano and Jim Denvir) and applying to graduate school (Diana Maue).

To complete the afternoon, students and faculty presented their posters. There were a total of 58 posters. Participants presenting posters included: summer undergraduate interns and faculty fellows from the Primarily Undergraduate Institutions who conducted research at WVU and Marshall University during the 9-week summer research program, and students and faculty conducting research at their home institutions. Several high school science teachers supported by the WV-INBRE/HSTA initiative also presented posters.