Alaska INBRE offers undergraduate research and funding opportunities at UAS
Alaska INBRE sponsors the annual retreat to showcase research, facilitate networking, and promote career development among Alaska biomedical researchers, nationally recognized experts and graduate and undergraduate students.
Date of Press Release: November 20, 2019
Juneau students Sarah Novell-Lane and Abby Nathli from the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) traveled to Talkeetna, Alaska for the September 20-22, 2019 Research Retreat for Alaska INBRE — the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. They were accompanied by chemistry professor Dr. Lisa Hoferkamp, and Dr. Tom Thornton, the Dean of Arts & Sciences and Vice-Provost for Research & Sponsored Programs at UAS. Monika Brandhuber, a UAF graduate student in the College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, also joined the group for the ride from Anchorage to Talkeetna.
During the conference, the students presented their research posters. Sarah, a senior in the environmental science program, has been working with Dr. Hoferkamp since fall 2018 studying the environmental levels and transport properties of per and poly fluorinated compounds (PFAS). Her presentation was titled, “Preliminary Assessment of PFAS in Sediment from a Contaminated Site near Utqiagvik, Alaska.” Abby is a former UAS biology student who has worked with geology faculty, Dr. Sonia Nagorski, investigating microplastics in waterways of the City and Borough of Juneau. Her presentation was titled, “An Investigation into Microplastic Pollution in Juneau Area Streams.” Both PFAS and microplastics are growing health concerns in Alaska. Sarah’s presentation on PFAS, a contaminant found in fire-fighting chemicals used at many Alaska airports, including Utiagvik (Barrow) where she conducted her study, was awarded Best of Undergraduates, for which she received $250 for lab supplies and swag.
Dr. Tom Thornton notes, “The NIH-INBRE scheme offers UA STEM students like Sarah the opportunity to do substantive research on a topic of significance to the health of Alaskan communities, and to present their results in a collaborative forum which amplifies learning and dissemination.” The retreat also offered practical advice on career development, as well as inspiration from leading scientists, such as Jayme Parker, Alaska State Virology Laboratory, who spoke to an enthusiastic group of about 25 participants about how she found her way in the world of science. Presentations by eminent researchers in the fields of biomedical research, including Dr. Sam Miller, Professor of Microbiology/Medicine/Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, and early career researchers across Alaska were interspersed between fabulous meals and engaging conversation.
Alaska INBRE sponsors the annual retreat to showcase research, facilitate networking, and promote career development among Alaska biomedical researchers, nationally recognized experts and graduate and undergraduate students. The Alaska INBRE program focus is to grow biomedical research in Alaska by increasing the capacity of UA faculty and partner institution researchers to win independent federal grants like those of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Alaska INBRE also provides support across the 5 participating partner institutions for pilot research projects as well as independent funding of graduate and undergraduate students. Funding of specialized equipment to increase retention of successful investigators in Alaska is also available. New to INBRE this funding cycle is a program that provides support to postdoctoral scientists and technical staff. Dr. Lisa Hoferkamp serves on the steering committee for Alaska INBRE.
For more information about numerous research and funding opportunities available to students, contact professor Lisa Hoferkamp in the UAS School of Arts & Sciences at 907-796-6518 or visit the Alaska INBRE website.
Press Release Contact
University of Alaska Southeast