Undergraduate Researchers of Today’s Hot Topics Share Results at UTEP

Young scientists who have researched aspects of mankind’s greatest health and green energy challenges will discuss their results during COURI Symposium Summer 2012 from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, July 27, in the Bhutan Lounge on the second floor of UTEP’s Union Building East.

The Undergraduate Poster Presentations and Reception involves UTEP students from the colleges of Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering, and international students from colleges and universities in China, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Puerto Rico who have spent part of their summers at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Among the subjects of the 95 posters are the neuroscience of drug abuse, the design of solar light bulbs and other solar cell applications, the effect of certain compounds on cancer tumors, aspects of the AIDS virus, bioengineered skin, and the development of a vaccine for Chagas disease.

“The various program directors and faculty mentors wanted to provide the students with an intense immersion in summer research, and I believe they were successful,” said Lourdes Echegoyen, Ph.D., director the University’s Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI). “The students have spent many hours working on their projects and attending professional development workshops and seminars. They have grown tremendously as researchers and have become more globally and culturally aware due to their work with their peers from other parts of the U.S. and the world.”

The symposium will begin with a talk by Margarita Valencia, assistant training director with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She will discuss “NIH: Structure, Training and Funding Opportunities” at 1 p.m. Friday, July 27, in the Tomás Rivera Conference Center on the third floor of Union Building East.

The day’s events are sponsored by COURI, the NIH-Border Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program, NSF (National Science Foundation)-UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)-Summer Mentoring andResearch Training Methods in Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (SMART MIND), NSF-UTEP Summer REU for Undergraduates in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the NSF-UTEP REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Summer Site in Applied Intelligent Systems.

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