On Thursday, August 2, thirty undergraduates will present the results of their summer research at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) Summer Undergraduate Research Experience poster session. The one-day conference 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.
For the past 10 weeks, students from UND, as well as from rural and tribal colleges in Minnesota, North Dakota, 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 biological 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 work, which has implications in the areas of insect evolution, reproductive biology, soil ecology, microbiology, invertebrate zoology, parasitology, neurological disease, cancer, drug addiction, heart disease, and aging, in an on-campus poster session.
In addition to UND, this year’s participants are from California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, Calif.; Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisc.; Clark University, Dubuque, Iowa; College of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, Minn.; Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fla.; Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville, Iowa; Northland College, Ashland, Wisc.; Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kan.; St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.; Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, N.D.; University of Minnesota, Crookston, Minn.; Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wisc.; and Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb.
Funding for the students came from a variety of organizations and institutions, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Office of the Dean at the UND SMHS.