Thursday, August 8, 2019

Undergraduate and high school students have been conducting research in the college this summer.

Professor Jonathan Doorn has two students this summer. In both cases, the students’ work is part of a larger medical battle against Parkinson’s Disease, said Doorn. “Their work involves identification of targets of toxic products of the neurotransmitter dopamine,” he added.

Kate Bowman was one of the visiting college students. She came to the UI College of Pharmacy this summer from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado, as part of the Biomedical Scholars Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Bowman joined via the program’s connection with the Human Toxicology graduate program. It allows scholars to pursue broad research interests in modern biomedical research, something that goes above and beyond typical undergraduate programming.

Bowman’s project is entitled “Modification and Inhibition of Glutathione S-Transferase by a Reactive Dopamine Metabolite.”

Doorn also had a visiting high school student in his laboratory: Mia Moon, who is enrolled in a public technical high school for medical science in Hackensack, New Jersey. Moon worked in Doorn’s lab as part of the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP), administered by the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. True to its name, students in their sophomore or junior years of high school stay near or on campus for more than one week, conducting original research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Moon’s project is entitled “Aldehyde Detoxication and Protein Modification in Dopaminergic Cells.”

Another undergraduate—Iowa State soon-to-be sophomore Micah Bailey—was working in the college this summer, under Associate Professor Ethan Anderson. Bailey is majoring in Aerospace engineering.

“He has been here working on a new medicinal compound that targets mitochondria and protects heart cells from free radical damage and disruptions in metabolism,” explained Anderson. “This compound was synthesized by members of the (Professor Robert) Kerns laboratory as part of a collaboration.”

Professor Aliasger Salem’s research group also hosted a high school student— Jessica Luan from Amador Valley, Pleasanton, California—through Belin-Blank’s STTP Program for research this summer. Her project is entitled “3D printed Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering.”

Two undergraduate students also have been working in Salem’s laboratory this summer. Summer researcher Nimisha Upadhyay was here from India and has a special connection to the college through her cousin: UI alumna Vijaya Joshi. Upadhyay’s project was entitled “Targeted Drug and Gene Delivery.”

Madison Barmore, meanwhile, conducted research in Salem’s lab this summer the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Her project is entitled “3D printed Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering”.