WASHINGTON, PA (April 26,2018)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) senior Nick Baker ’18 brought home a first-place win from the Van Liere Research Conference at the West Virginia University (WVU) Health Science Campus on March 22. Nick was one of eight W&J students who presented their work during the undergraduate poster session.
Nick presented his poster, “Improved cardiac remodeling after in vivo knockdown of type VI collagen following myocardial infarction,” detailing the research he did during his summer 2017 internship at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). During his internship, Nick worked with J. Gary Meszaros, Ph.D., in his lab, investigating the role collagen proteins play in heart attack recovery. Nick’s experience at NEOMED was funded by the Maxwell Internship Award.
“It was rewarding to see my work from the summer come to fruition as I shared my findings and results with those at the conference,” Nick said. “I was deeply honored [to learn about my win] because there were many other participants who had done exceptional research that was presented at the conference. I am proud to have represented W&J and NEOMED.”
This was the first year that undergraduates from outside of WVU were invited to present at the Van Liere Conference. Other student presenters from W&J who shared their work from off-campus internships and course-based projects were Rebekah Aello ’19, Hannah Dailey ’19, Christopher Fiorina ’19, Veronica Komoroski ’19, Katherine Muksuris ’18, Claudia Peterman ’19, and Elisa Yazdani ’20.
The W&J contingent was organized by Candy DeBerry, Ph.D., professor of Biology and director of off-campus biology related internships. As Dr. DeBerry puts it, the research conference experience allows students to view projects in the same context as science professionals, seeing how the results of an experiment further understanding of a particular science topic, rather than an end-of-semester poster session that is focused primarily on the students’ learning.
“A scientific conference allows students to see the professional standards for science; the quality and depth of thought required, the focus, dedication and perseverance, and—perhaps most importantly—the incredible rigor by which data are critically evaluated by scientists,” Dr. DeBerry said.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.
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