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Published 08/26/16

Ekta Chugh ’19 with her SURF presentation

Ekta Chugh '19, a biology and accounting major who hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, recently discussed some of the findings of her research project made possible through the R.I. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. (Photo courtesy of RI EPSCoR)

A summer of science thanks to undergraduate research fellowships

Six Bryant students spent their summer immersed in projects ranging from studying nanoparticles that can cause brain tumors to exploring microbial communities in estuaries as part of the Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. This experience conducting methodical and intensified research breeds a deeper involvement in the science, and allows students to delve into expansive research projects.

“This is truly graduate-level research” that not many undergraduates get to experience, says Associate Professor of Science and Technology Christopher Reid, Ph.D.

The students presented their research to more than 400 faculty, students, and administrators from universities across Rhode Island on July 29, at the annual Rhode Island SURF Conference at University of Rhode Island.

"This is truly graduate-level research" that not many undergrads get to experience.

The Bryant students who presented are:

  • Ekta Chugh ’19
  • Alexandra Dickie ’17
  • Kathleen Gonzalez ’18
  • Kyle Mummau ’17
  • Colby Norris ’19
  • Keyana Roohani ’17

Five of the six projects were funded by a grant from Rhode Island IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence. Chugh’s research is being conducted under a grant received from the Rhode Island NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Gonzalez calls the fellowship program "a great opportunity. We get to work one-on-one with the professor. I was unsure about working in a lab, but now I know I want to be a lab technician and do work that can help people.”

"Coming into Bryant, I was very intimidated when it came to lab work and research," says Roohani. "But Professor Reid convinced me to give it a shot and I fell in love with it. It’s very hands-on and you learn by trial and error." Roohani has presented at the conference each of the last three years, and hopes to obtain a doctorate and become a veterinarian.