This summer, NNU has a record number of undergraduate students participating in the research program. There are 46 students working on projects with ten faculty members that will culminate in presenting the results at a major research conference. Most students are working on a ten-week, full-time project related to their professor’s research program. Others are participating in the two-week Summer Scholars program.
Five of the professors and their students are doing work funded by a federal grant from the Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to support biomedical research.
Dr. Jennifer Chase
• Dr. Chase has five students who are using in vitro assays on recombinant human enzymes as well as computational models to quantify the impact of alcohol on vitamin A processing pathways. Disruption of these pathways by alcohol, through mechanisms that have not been fully elucidated, are implicated in alcoholic diseases such as cancer and fetal alcohol effects.
Dr. Ron Strohmeyer
• Dr. Strohmeyer is studying the role of brain inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. He has three students in his lab using real-time PCR to assess levels of C/EBP transcription factors thought to be related to brain inflammation. Dr. Strohmeyer is also supervising 16 students in NNU’s two-week Summer Scholars Program in which students clone sequences from a plant gene and publish the results in a national database.
Dr. Jamee Nixon
• Dr. Nixon has three students studying the innate immune response of human monoctytes to sub-inhibitory dose antibiotic treated MRSA and Collagen XI expression in human mast cells.
Dr. Xueyi Wang
• Dr. Wang has a student working in bioinformatics, using machine learning to develop algorithms for data mining text articles, specifically biomedical research literature.
Dr. Barry Myers
• Dr. Myers also has a student working in bioinformatics, investigating ALU and LINE1 contribution to mutations in human chromosomes.
Other faculty members have students doing research in physics, engineering, chemistry, and ecology.
Dr. Duke Bulanon
• Dr. Bulanon works on developing robotics for agricultural work. He has 2 students working on software for a vision system that can detect plants with disease and other stress.
Dr. Dan Lawrence
• Dr. Lawrence has been working with the NASA RockSat program. He has two students designing and building sensors for rocket payloads that will be launched in NASA sounding rockets 75 miles above the atmosphere.
Dr. Jerry Harris
• Dr. Harris has three students researching Synthesis of zinc-oxide compounds for use in semi-conductor applications such as construction of solar cells.
Dr. Dan Nogales
• Dr. Nogales has three students working on a project to synthesize large container molecules that can, reversibly, package smaller molecules for purposes such as delivering drugs to particular places in the body.
Dr. John Cossel
• Dr. Cossel is taking two students to Costa Rica to study the disease ecology of a pathogenic fungus that can kill frogs that live in the canopy of the rain forest. He also has two projects surveying reptile populations. He will take eight students to a two-week “Salamander Camp” to catalogue the population of giant salamanders in the Salmon River. He also has three students working on another inventory of reptiles in southern Idaho.