May 21, 2010

Students win prizes at research symposium

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- Two students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale took home prizes at a regional showcase for undergraduate research or creative projects earlier this month at the University.

SIUC played host to the annual St. Louis Area Undergraduate Research Symposium at its Touch of Nature Environmental Center. The event saw undergraduate researchers from six regional institutions compete.

Jarod Shelton, a senior in physiology from Rushville, took the top prize and $500 in the contest for his project titled “Assessment of the Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Alzheimer's Disease Progression.” His mentor was Peter Patrylo, associate professor of physiology in the SIU School of Medicine.

Kelsey Jarrett, a senior in microbiology from Coulterville, took fourth place and $75 in the contest for her project titled “Primary Mouse Embryo Fibroblasts (MEF) with Targeted Disruption of Deaf1 Have Reduced Apoptotic Response to Ultraviolet Radiation.” Jarrett’s mentors were Jodi Huggenvik and Michael Collard, both associate professors of physiology in the SIU School of Medicine.

Students from SIU’s Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri St. Louis, Harris-Stowe State University and St. Louis University vied for awards at the event, a student-organized program that provides a unique forum to showcase the undergraduateresearch or creative projects of hundreds of students.

All undergraduates conducting research or creative projects who are working with a faculty mentor are eligible to submit an application and abstract of their project.

Participating students work in a professional presentation setting and learn about their peers’ creative projects and research at the event. They also learn from faculty members, interact with representatives from industry and listen to invited speakers and members of the greater St. Louis and Midwest scientific community.

Students had the option of presenting their research work in poster format, orally or both. Faculty and students judges from the participating universities reviewed all presentations.