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SWOSU Biology Students Earn Funds to Support Research Projects

SWOSU biology students were recently awarded research grants to fund undergraduate research projects they are completing with faculty mentors. Recipients were (from left) Makayla Hicks of Moore, Nicholas Bauer of Guymon, Megan Strotman of Oklahoma City, and Uzziah Urquiza of Guymon.

Four Southwestern Oklahoma State University biology students recently received funding from the Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) National Biological Sciences Honor Society to support their ongoing research projects.

Recipients were Nicholas Bauer and Uzziah Urquiza, both of Guymon, Makayla Hicks of Moore and Megan Strotman of Oklahoma City.

The students wrote research proposals based on projects they have been working on with faculty mentors. Hicks and Strotman are mentored by Dr. Regina McGrane, Bauer is mentored by Dr. Vijay Somalinga and Urquiza is mentored by Dr. Pragya Sharma. Drs. McGrane, Somalinga and Sharma are all faculty in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences.

Bauer’s proposal was: “Structural and Functional Characterization of DNA-bind proteins, Dps1 and Dps2 from Rhodococcus jostii RHA1.

Hicks’ proposal was: “Evaluating factors impacting pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Strotman’s proposal was: “Investigating Potential Circadian Oscillations in Pseudomonas syringae.

Urquiza’s proposal was: “Exploration of the molecular mechanism of anticancer activity of novel Lactate Dehydrogenase inhibitors against pancreatic cancer cell line, MIA PaCa-2.”

Proposals described the students’ research questions, objectives and methods. Students can use the awarded funds to buy supplies, support a stipend, and/or travel to scientific meetings. As a requirement of their award, students will present their research findings at either the regional or national TriBeta convention.