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Biomedical Scholars to Present Summer Research at Colloquium Friday

September 4, 2008

Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Nine Mercer University students who spent the summer doing high-level research with Mercer professors on the Macon and Atlanta campuses will present their research at a Colloquium on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lecture Hall in Willett Science Center on Mercer’s Macon campus.

The students are part of Mercer’s new Biomedical Scholars Training Initiative, launched this summer, a program in which they assisted professors in the School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts in their research.

The program sponsored the students for 10 weeks as they worked in labs of the professors learning valuable skills and assisting the advancement of research in such diseases as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and several forms of cancer. In addition to the benefit of working full-time in an academic research lab, the students also received a $3,500 stipend and free housing. This unique opportunity led to a large pool of applicants for the summer spots and competition is expected to increase next year.

Four students spent the summer in Atlanta, working with four members of the faculty from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In addition, five other students conducted research in Macon with members of their faculty and Associate Professor James Thomas, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine.

The faculty members in the program are all conducting advanced biological research at the forefront of their respective fields, and the students were able to immerse themselves in this research. In addition, the program helps to further collaboration among the academic units, as the students become a part of the link between faculty members who collaborate on various projects. The program also offers students a chance to do master’s and even Ph.D.-level research that advances science.

The program also provides a number of opportunities for the students and professors to present at regional, national and international conferences.