The C of I INBRE fellows complete summer research; present at statewide conference
2009. 09. 10.
CALDWELL – Eight students from The College of Idaho spent 10 weeks this summer conducting biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-INBRE) summer research fellows program, which gives students $5,000 to work in the labs of scientist mentors and participate in a research conference at Idaho State University.
The summer fellows program is part of a $16.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health shared by 10 Idaho higher education and research institutions to enhance the state's biomedical research. The C of I will receive $1.77 million over the next five years. The grant is the third major award for the INBRE network since it was founded in 2001 and brings the total federal investment to $40 million.
This year's INBRE fellows were Emir Kodic and Erick Valenzuela, who worked in the chemistry lab of Carolyn Dadabay; Justin Martin and Kim Stucker, who worked in the biology lab of Mark Gunderson; Dayne Filer and Cody Christensen, who worked in the biology lab of Sara Heggland; and Jeremy West and Amanda Smith who worked in the chemistry lab of John Thurston.
The fellows presented their research at the 8th Annual Idaho INBRE conference at ISU last month.
Heggland was an invited speaker at the Idaho INBRE conference. She served on a faculty panel discussion titled "Making the Transition from the Classroom to the Research Bench."
Heggland, who is chair of the biology department and director of student research and creative activities at The C of I said research gives students a chance to actively engage in the process of science.
"In the research lab, they get to think like a scientist by developing hypotheses and testing those hypotheses through experimentation," she said. "They quickly discover it is not the same as doing classroom labs, in which experiments are designed to work."
More than 70 students from The C of I have participated in INBRE-funded research over the past five years. Several students who participate in the summer research program continue doing research during the academic year.
Lauren Delana, a senior biology major, has worked in Heggland's lab all four years while at The C of I. Delana started as an INBRE summer fellow her freshman year.
Senior biology major Justin Martin conducted research to determine the effect industrial chemical pollutants are having on the physiology of alligators from Florida ecosystems.
"Practically speaking, I could not work with live alligators or work in Florida this summer," Martin said. "Working in the lab allowed me to experience the frustration, exhilaration, stress, and satisfaction that goes with real world research."