Five SWOSU Students Awarded Scholarships for Biomedical Research in Neuroscience
Ashley Rodriguez of Clinton is conducting research this summer through the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences and Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Holgado. Rodriguez is studying the molecular components controlling synapses in nematodes through a summer internship awarded through the OK-LSAMP, which is designed for minority students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The internship is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Claudia Nkeih of Cameroon is conducting research this summer through the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences and Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) under the mentorship of Dr Andrea Holgado. Nkeih is working on a project titled Analysis of a Retroviral Protease Domain Function in Regulating Membrane Fusion. This summer internship is awarded through a grant from the National Institute of Health. Students in the program have the opportunity of gaining first-hand experience working on innovative biomedical research projects with guidance from their faculty mentors.
Nathan Bernhardt of Thomas was awarded an Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) scholarship to perform research under the supervision of Dr. Anne Kasus Jacobi at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Bernhardt has teamed up with Dr. Jacobi to study drug transport across the human corneal epithelium. Tight junctions formed by corneal epithelial cells block passage of most compounds into the eye. However, carcinine—a potential drug candidate –has been shown to defy this general assumption. The two are studying the drug passage mechanism foreseeing its therapeutic properties for delivering carcinine and other pharmaceutical compounds to patients suffering from macular degeneration.
Tyler McLemore of Oklahoma City (Putnam City North) is working under the mentorship of Dr. Bing Zhang at the University of Oklahoma with support provided by the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education and the Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE). McLemore is studying genetic control of synaptic transmission using the model Drosophila melanogaster. His research endeavors are part of a collaborative effort between Dr. Zhang and Dr. Andrea Holgado at SWOSU.
Kody McKay of Rush Springs is working under the mentorship of Dr. Bing Zhang at the University of Oklahoma with support provided by the National Science Foundation. McKay, Taylor Fore and Dr. Zhang are deciphering behavioral and synaptic changes in fruit flies suffering a disease similar to Huntington. To this end, they are examining whether the 90 glutamine repeats found in Huntington alters larval locomotion and neuromuscular junction morphology.