BHSU students receive biomedical research fellowships

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, July 28, 2015/Categories: 2015









           Thomas "Gene" Trimble (left), composite chemistry major from Spearfish, works with Alissa Iverson, biology major from Spearfish, in a laboratory at BHSU. Trimble is one of eight BHSU students who received a research fellowship from the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network funded through the National Institutes of Health.




Black Hills State University students and faculty are participating in a statewide effort to develop biomedical research as part of a $14.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded to the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor of biology at BHSU, worked closely with Dr. Barbara Goodman, professor of physiology at the University of South Dakota and director of the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD BRIN), to write the grant proposal to develop human resources for undergraduate and graduate programs in the biomedical sciences and bioinformatics at South Dakota institutions.

"We currently have eight students at BHSU conducting research with SD BRIN-funded mentors," said Anderson. "The research fellowship program supported by the grant funds is highly selective and provides students the opportunity to spend 10 weeks working and learning in the hands-on environment of our BHSU research labs."

The SD BRIN provides Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awards funded by the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH. Along with BHSU, students and faculty from Augustana College, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mount Marty College, the University of Sioux Falls, and tribal colleges Sisseton-Wahpeton and Oglala Lakota participate in the SD BRIN.

"This grant for biomedical research is one example of the multitude of research opportunities for our students," said Dr. Rod Custer, provost and vice president of academic affairs at BHSU. "I commend our faculty for their on-going work with statewide research network."

The $1.5 million in grant funds BHSU will receive over five years provides salary and research supply support. BHSU receives funding from the grant to support the DNA sequencing and genotyping core facility (WestCore) housed at BHSU. WestCore provides genetic services to the participating SD BRIN faculty and students.

Anderson, who also serves as grant program coordinator, said several BHSU science faculty conduct research funded by the SD BRIN program.

"Faculty participating in SD BRIN conduct research such as the discovery of proteins useful in cancer therapy, the protein components of snake venom, the antimicrobial capabilities of compounds isolated from Native American medicinal plants, and the genetics that control microbial responses to novel antimicrobial compounds," said Anderson.

This summer&rsquos BHSU recipients and their faculty mentors are:

&middot Alicia Benz, biology and applied health sciences major from Killdeer, N.D., mentored by Dr. Dan Asunskis, assistant professor of chemistry

&middot Hayden Bender, biology major from Denver, mentored by Anderson

&middot Rachel Crawford, chemistry major from Spearfish, mentored by Dr. John Dixson, associate professor of chemistry

&middot Michael Hurst, biology and chemistry major from Spearfish, mentored by Dr. Justin Ramsey, assistant professor of plant biology

&middot Madison Jilek, physical science and chemistry major from Spearfish, mentored by Dr. Katrina Jensen, assistant professor of chemistry

&middot Jesse Larson, biology major from Spearfish, mentored by Dr. Dave Siemens, associate professor of biology

&middot Bethany (Clyne) Reman, biology major from Whitewood, mentored by Anderson

&middot Thomas "Gene" Trimble, composite chemistry major from Spearfish, mentored by Jensen

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