There is a long wait at the library plotter; whispered lines being rehearsed over and over; shirts being ironed and hair combed. It must be time for the CURC showcase – the CSU program that Celebrates Undergraduate Research and Creativity. Every spring, undergraduate students from across the university have the opportunity to highlight their art, research, writing, or service projects by presenting a professional poster session to a room full of peers, faculty, and judges. The showcase culminates in an awards ceremony where top students are honored for the quality and creativity of their work.
This year, the Department of Biomedical Sciences is very proud of the seven students who were recognized at the 2013 CURC awards reception. Among those students is Department of Biomedical Sciences junior, Hannah Baird. Hannah was in the top 3% of student presenters and received high honors at the CURC awards for her research on Delineating the protective mechanisms of interferon-tau (IFNT) on the ovine corpus luteum when exposed to the exogenous lytic actions of prostaglandin F2-alpha (PGF). Hannah has spent the last several years working with Faculty Mentor Dr. Thomas Hansen, and CVMBS PhD student, Jared Romero at the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory on how to reduce embryonic mortality in mammals by examining how embryo/maternal communication (signaling) can protect against embryonic loss in sheep.
“We are very excited about this award for Hannah, which is well deserved” says Dr. Hansen. “It also reflects nicely on the excellence in instruction and direction by her graduate student mentor, Mr. Jared Romero.”
This was Hannah’s third time presenting at CURC, and she highly recommends this experience for other students.
“Presenting at CURC really gave me an opportunity to show the work I’ve been doing in the lab, but more importantly, it provided the personal experience of being able to piece everything together and see the conclusions of our work and how far we’ve come,” said Hannah. “Presenting at CURC helps you understand the research you’ve been doing, and there is a great culture of excitement and learning at each event.”
Hannah isn’t the only one encouraging students to get their hands dirty in the lab. Jared Romero, one of Hannah’s project mentors thinks it is very important for students to get lab experience because they begin to understand the amount of time it takes to formulate the knowledge they learn in class.
“Hannah began in the lab by washing dishes and learning how to make chemical solutions, but now is assisting in surgeries and is running RTPCR and Western blots on her own,” said Romero. “Placing in the top 3% at the CURC for Hannah is a great honor and I was thrilled to find out how well she did. She is an extremely bright young woman and we all wish her success in her endeavor of becoming a physician’s assistant.”
Full list of BMS students honored at the May 7th awards ceremony:
High Honors in Research (top 3%)
Hannah Baird: Delineating the protective mechanisms of interferon-tau (IFNT) on the ovine corpus luteum when exposed to the exogenous lytic actions of prostaglandin F2-alpha (PGF) (Thomas R. Hansen, Faculty Mentor)
Lukas Foster: The Diindolylmethane analog, DIM5, suppresses the NF-kB signaling pathway in astrocytes through recruitment of Co-repressor Proteins and blocking of NF-kB DNA binding (Dr. Charles (CW) Miller, Faculty Mentor)
Honors in Research (top 10%)
Aubrey Arensdorf: Childhood Obesity in America, Causative Factors and Treatment Strategies (Mark Frasier, Faculty Mentor)
Lindsey Hall: Investigation of myocardial GATA-4 expression with Western diet intake and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation (Dr. Melinda Frye, Faculty Mentor)
Megan Kunkel: Role of the sympathetic nervous system in restraining forearm blood flow and VO2 during graded handgrip exercise in young adults (Jennifer Richards and Dr. Frank Dinenno, Faculty Mentors)
Connor Nash (Chemical and Biological Engineering): Prenatal glucocorticoid excess influences neuronal cell populations of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. (Stuart Tobet, Faculty Mentor)
Service Learning Honorable Mention