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Biology students to present at 125th Iowa Academy of Sciences Meeting

On Friday, April 19, Drake students from the College of Arts & Sciences will travel to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa to present their undergraduate research at the 125th Annual Meeting of the Iowa Academy of Sciences. Eight students will be presenting five posters at the conference.

Of the eight students who are presenting, five students are biochemistry, cell and molecular biology (BCMB) majors: Jeff Barcus, Alex Generous, Joe Jacher, Molly Thorson, and Nick Van Roekel; and three are biology majors: Peyton Faganel, Joel Greenya, and Travis Merritt. David Senchina, associate professor of biology and faculty mentor, notes that many of these students are double and even triple majors, some studying both BCMB and biology.

”Presenting at the Iowa Academy of Sciences provides students opportunities to dialogue with professionals from both academia and industry about their research. They receive valuable scientific feedback from experts in their field, practice public presentation skills they’ll use in their future careers, and grow professional relationships through networking.”

The students’ research ranges in topic, and several faculty and staff members have served as mentors. The following five projects will be presented at the meeting:

“Identification of human host proteins that interact with swine influenza a virus nucleoprotein using the yeast two-hybrid system,” presented by Jeff Barcus, Alex Generous, Joe Jacher, and Molly Thorson. The faculty mentors include Heidi Sleister, associate department chair and associate professor of biology and Marc Busch, assistant professor of biology.

“Football shoe height influences proprioception without influencing range-of-motion or performance when athletes’ ankles are taped and spatted,” presented by Peyton Faganel. Ty Drake, a pharmacy student, is also involved with project. The faculty and staff mentors include David Senchina and Angela Dahl-Miller, assistant athletic trainer. A full-length paper discussing the study is being printed in the Spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Undergraduate Research published by Colorado State University.

“Somatosensory perception of running shoe mass,” presented by Joel Greenya. Stephen Slade, a senior biology student, was also involved with the project, and faculty and staff mentors include David Senchina and Christopher Kliethermes, assistant professor of psychology.

“Electromyographical analysis of lower body muscles during the back squat when ankles are taped or braced,” presented by Travis Merritt. Faculty and staff mentors include David Senchina and Eric Swafford, biology laboratory assistant.

“Foot temperature during treadmill running in cotton vs. synthetic socks,” presented by Nick Van Roekel. Erin Poss, a BCMB student, is also involved in the project. The faculty mentor is David Senchina.

For more information on undergraduate research projects, contact David Senchina at 515-271-2956 or email david.senchina@drake.edu.