Undergraduate Researchers Highlighted at Symposium

Central Arkansas Undergraduate Research Symposium

 Lillian Tong, a student at the California Institute of Technology, explains her poster presentation on "Predicting DILI potential using machine learning techniques on high content screening data."

Central Arkansas Undergraduate Research Symposium

 Brittany Martin participated in one of the summer undergraduate research programs at UAMS. She will be a sophomore at Jackson State Univeristy.

Aug. 2, 2013 | The second annual Central Arkansas Research Symposium on July 24 at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center provided a rare opportunity to highlight research done during the summer by more than 70 undergraduate students at UAMS and other institutions throughout central Arkansas.

The event was hosted by the UAMS Graduate School and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program.

The symposium included 65 poster presentations and 14 oral presentations throughout the day. More than 10 institutions were represented.

“It’s a testament to have the number of colleges, universities and institutes included and to represent the different types of research,” said Grover P. Miller, Ph.D., associate professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Approximately 150 people attended the event that included many mentors and administrators.

“It’s an undergraduate research celebration with students, their mentors and scientific advisors,” said Kevin Raney, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the UAMS College of Medicine. “There’s a certain level of excitement the students experience when they are the first person to know or discover something. It sparks their interest to pursue further research.”

“It’s been a great experience,” said Chasity White, an upcoming senior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “It’s been interesting to see my other colleagues’ research and their efforts over the summer. I’ve enjoyed talking to people and seeing someone interested in what I’ve learned.”

White is a participant in the UAMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program to Increase Diversity in Research that is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The symposium also makes students aware of future opportunities at UAMS in research and education. It allows students the chance to dialogue with others and give them experience orally presenting their research. The event has even assisted in building better relationships with undergraduate faculty members across the state leading to productive collaborations as shown through the research presentations.

“It’s the perfect venue to better integrate our programs at UAMS with other programs around the state,” Miller said. “It also allows students to take their research to their peers and communicate among themselves and non-science people and get them reenergized about research.”

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