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2011 DUCURS conference to showcase a record number of undergraduate research presentations

April 6, 2011

Scientific research investigating a wide variety of topics — the impact of Nintendo Wii Sports compared to more traditional exercise; effects of goat grazing in the Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt; analysis of an experimental anti-malarial drug composition — will be among the more than 60 presentations by Drake University students and faculty at the eighth annual Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (DUCURS).

A student presents her research poster at the 2010 DUCURS.

The free, public conference on Thursday, April 14, will feature research posters and oral presentations by an interdisciplinary group of ambitious Drake students. They will display their work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Parents Hall in Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave. All participants and attendees will be eligible to win door prizes.

The Drake conference highlights collaborative work of undergraduates and faculty, featuring a record number of research projects from multiple departments, including: biology, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science and mathematics, environmental science and policy, neuroscience, pharmaceutical science, physics and psychology. For a complete schedule of conference events, visit http://www.drake.edu/ducurs/schedule.php

This year's DUCURS luncheon keynote speaker is Julio De Paula, professor of chemistry and associate vice-president and director of special projects at Lewis and Clark College. De Paula will speak about the challenges faced by science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educators and researchers with a focus on research-rich curricula. De Paula’s research centers on photosynthesis and nanotechnology.

Julio De Paula

In addition to the annual luncheon, a science career fair will also be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in conjunction with this year's conference. Participants will have the opportunity to network with corporate representatives regarding careers, internships and experiential learning. 

Following the presentations,  students will have the opportunity to participate in an inter-science department knowledge competition. Top student exhibitors will receive awards courtesy of alumnus Dr. James Holsapple, AS'80.

Dr. Holsapple is on the faculty of the department of neurosurgery at Boston Medical Center where he continues his general practice in adult and pediatric neurosurgery. He has maintained research interests in neuroscience collaborating in studies of primate vision and mechanisms of transmitter release and lives in Boston.

Presenting sponsor is Metro Waste Authority, with additional sponsorship from Kemin Industries and Aerotek Scientific.

Recognized as the leader in environmental stewardship and cost-effective waste management, Metro Waste Authority is an independent government agency comprised of 16 member communities, one county and six planning members.