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Science students to present at Murdock research conference

November 11, 2010, 8:27 am
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Northwest Nazarene University will send 14 students to represent its School of Science and Mathematics at the 19th annual Murdock College Science Research Program Conference November 12-13.

Students worked long and hard alongside professors to research and prepare for their presentations. Junior chemistry student Lytia Smith, Greenleaf, Idaho, estimates she spent over 800 hours in the lab during her time as a student and over multiple summers.  At the conference, Smith will present “Synthesis and Characterization of Cobalt-Doped ZnO” with Dr. Jerry Harris, associate chemistry professor.

Smith explains, “ZnO is a semiconductor in use today. I am trying to make it magnetic to open up more possible uses. Technological advances like this are more cost effective and safer for the environment.”

Other students are excited to share what they have been learning with the scientific community as they prepare for graduate or medical school. Senior biology student Ashley Egger, Portland, Ore., worked alongside Dr. Ron Strohmeyer, associate biology professor.  Advances from this research will help find a substance to reduce the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Egger expanded, “My research focused on the relative expression levels of a transcription factor expressed by microglia in the brain. I used real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to analyze these expression levels, under both inflammatory states and inflammatory/drug treated states.”

“The M. J. Murdock Trust has made a profound impact on science research in the Northwest.  NNU science faculty have risen to the challenge made by the Murdock Trust nearly 20 years ago to develop a culture of student-faculty research, which is evident in the large number of student presentations at this conference,” Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics Dr. Dan Nogales said. “We are pleased to present to other scientists, not only the quantity—but the quality of research being completed by our students at NNU.”

The College Science Research Program Conference will be held at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. For more information on the conference, please visit www.murdock-trust.org/researchprogram.


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