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Drake to host 14th annual conference on undergraduate research in the sciences

April 5, 2017

Hundreds of central Iowa high school and college students will present scientific research during a day-long conference at Drake University on Thursday, April 13.

The 14th annual Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences, best known as DUCURS, will feature 78 posters and 6 oral presentations showcasing research across a wide breadth of scientific disciplines. Participants include students at Drake University, Grand View University, Waukee High School, Urbandale High School, Hoover High School, and Central Campus.

“DUCURS is the university’s signature day of science, offering young scientists an opportunity to share their work and for students at the high school level to experience how research is performed in a college setting,” said John Gitua, associate professor of chemistry and director of DUCURS.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the conference concludes at 4 p.m., with all activities being held in the upper level of Drake’s Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave. All events are open to the public. A detailed schedule is below, and at

The conference attracted more than 180 visitors last year, and organizers hope to surpass that figure in 2017 due to an increase in the number of participating schools. Programming highlights include an 11:15 a.m. keynote lecture by Phillip Furman of Furman Biotech Consulting, LLC. His free talk, titled “Sofosbuvir: A Search for a Cure,” will focus on discussing how Sofosbuvir—and other drugs which have been approved by the U.S. FDA and are in extensive clinical use—have become cornerstones of treatment for patients with chronic viral infections such as members of the Herpes virus family, HIV, and HBV.

Support for DUCURS and DUSCI—the Drake University Science Collaborative Institute—comes from Kemin Industries, Eurofins, Embria Health Sciences, and other generous community partners.

Plan your visit

DUCURS (Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences)

14th annual event showcasing science research by students at Drake University, Grand View University, and four local high schools

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  •  8 a.m. Registration
  • 9 a.m. Welcome address
  • 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. Oral presentations / poster presentations
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Lunch—Keynote speaker Phillip Furman, Furman Biotech Consulting LLC; appreciation remarks by Joe Lenz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • 1 to 3:30 p.m. Oral presentations / poster presentations
  • 3:30 p.m. Awards ceremony and closing remarks

WHO: Open to all audiences
WHERE: Parents Hall, upper Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.
HOSTED BY: Drake University