A collaboration years in the making between The College of Idaho and Boise State University in the research of the microscopic parasite Giardia has resulted in a three-year, $418,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop new drugs treating Giardia infections.
From Boone Hall’s basement to the biology labs on its top floor, the summertime has not put a stop to student academic pursuits. From cutting-edge biomedical research to the study of galactic formation, summer time at the C of I has served as a season of scientific opportunity for undergraduate researchers.
When biology major Maggie Brown was a freshman at The College of Idaho, she was approached by Biology Professor Dr. Sara Heggland with a proposal—the chance to become involved in cutting edge research as an undergraduate on the largely unexplored topic of electronic cigarettes.
“I was shocked I could have a research opportunity like that,” Brown said. “I knew when I was looking at colleges, having the opportunity to do research was a high priority for me. The College of Idaho gave me that opportunity.”
College of Idaho students and professors made the trek to Spokane, Wash., this November to showcase student research from a variety of scientific disciplines at the 25th Annual Murdock College Science Research Conference. The conference focuses on sharing and advancing new knowledge in the natural sciences created or discovered through collaborative faculty-student research.
And for some Yotes, it was their first time presenting.
“I was excited, but also nervous,” said junior math-physics major Natasha Dacic.
The engine roared as a small bush plane flew a few hundred feet above the tree tops. Below, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River meandered through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. As the plane dipped lower and lower, following the river, it turned toward the right bank and a small cut-out of green grass.
This summer, 10 College of Idaho students and several professors joined representatives from 10 other Idaho institutions to take part in the 2016 Idaho INBRE Statewide Research Conference. The conference, held in Moscow, featured posters, pictures and presentations on the latest biomedical research.
And of the 15 awards given out, C of I students snagged four.
College of Idaho senior Nolan Hill injected the fluid that held glioblastoma cells with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and set the mixture under the lens of a fluorescent microscope. On his computer screen, he watched in real time as the cells responded to the ATP with an influx of calcium.
As part of Dr. Luke Daniels’ INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) lab, Hill, fellow senior Averey Strong, and College of Western Idaho student David Dunn are researching glioblastoma, a fast-growing type of malignant brain tumor.
The College of Idaho will celebrate undergraduate research, scholarship and creative work during its tenth annual Student Research Conference, which will start at noon on Saturday, April 25, in the Langroise Recital Hall on the C of I campus in Caldwell.
This year’s conference will feature more than 50 student scholarly and creative presentations representing all academic disciplines.