Seven Bryant students to present research at statewide SURF Conference
Seven Bryant University students will be among the estimated 130 undergraduates presenting their summer research findings at the 8th Annual Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Conference Friday, July 31, 2015, at the University of Rhode Island.
The students spent the majority of the summer conducting research under the mentorship of Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Christopher Reid, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Science and Technology Dan McNally, Ph.D.:
- Jennifer Brewster ’16
- Alexandra Dickie '17
- Sarah Falco ’16
- James Gravier ’19
- Drew Phelan ’16
- Keyana Roohani ’17
- Christina Watts '16
Their research is funded by the Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE) and the Rhode Island NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (RI NSF EPSCoR).
Brewster, Roohani and Gravier are characterizing the mode of action of several lead compounds that show promise of being antibiotics against pathogens such as MRSA or pneumonia. They recently filed a provisional patent for the new compounds and their work is currently under preparation to be incorporated into a manuscript to be submitted in September.
"I am learning how to become an independent learner and scientist."
Phelan and Falco have investigated the impact of legacy pollution on the microbiome of the Providence River estuary; Watts focused her work on the Blackstone River watershed.
“I am learning how to become an independent learner and scientist,” says Phelan, who is graduating a year earlier than expected and is planning to go to medical school. “I am learning how to use the information and knowledge I already have to apply it to new instances and scenarios."
Falco, who has a keen interest in robotics, plans to go to graduate school for computer science.
The annual conference marks the culmination of the collaborative SURF program, which involves 96 RI-INBRE students and 38 RI NSF EPSCoR students this year. Acceptance to the program is based on a competitive application process run individually by RI-INBRE and RI NSF EPSCoR. Each student will present research at the conference, which is expected to draw more than 400 faculty, students, and administrators from across the Ocean State.