Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ashland Science students present their research at annual symposium

Our College of Arts and Sciences recently held its 8th Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium.  This annual celebration of our students' faculty-mentored independent scholarship has always included a strong showing from our science students.  This year was no different, with 20 science students presenting research mentored by faculty from biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, geology, physics and toxicology.

Check out photos below from both oral presentations and well-attended poster sessions.  Congratulations to the great work done by our students.  Some of these students are graduating seniors, and we will be sharing news here on their plans for next year.  Other students will be heading off to various summer internships.  The captions give some information about each student.

Senior Meghann Fitzpatrick worked with Chemistry professor Jeff Weidenhamer to measure toxic metals from cookware used in developing countries and tested techniques to prevent them from being leached into food

Biology and Health Risk Communications major Hannah Wiles worked with Nursing and Exercise Science major Mitch Ellis and faculty mentor Kristen Simokat from Biology to find methods for dissecting and isolating the central nervous system from human cadavers

Senior Toxicology majors Lauren Bacigalupi and Emily Dine worked with Toxicology faculty member Andy Trimble to refine methods for purifying and quantifying toxic compounds from plants often eaten by farm animals.  Lauren and Emily are currently paid interns at Charles River Laboratories, a drug testing firm in Ashland, Ohio

Biology major Isabella Steiner worked with biology faculty member Merrill Tawse to study the salamander populations at Ashland University's nearby Black Fork Wetlands nature preserve.  Isabella will be defending her honors thesis based on this project next week and is applying for programs in veterinary medicine.

Senior Kelly Murray used genome editing techniques to study proteins involved in lens cataract, a leading cause of human blindness.  She will be presenting this same poster at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus this week as part of a special event for Choose Ohio First Scholars.  This State-funded scholarship program currently supports 23 Ashland science students (including Isabella, Hannah and Corey found in these pictures).  Kelly will be starting a PhD program at Cornell University in the Fall.

Chemistry majors Corey Turpin and Lacy Hepp worked with faculty member Nicholas Johnson to develop organic chemistry techniques for synthesizing drug delivery devices.  They are talking with this year's faculty chair of our URCA Committee, chemistry professor Jeff Weidenhamer

It wasn't all science.  Environmental Science/Biology major Chanel Bluntschly performed in a saxophone quartet to highlight how small groups of musicians play without a conductor.

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