Mar 29, 2006    #060
Contact: Noemi Rojas
(816) 235-1520

UMKC students to show legislators why research matters

Selected students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) will participate in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, an annual event, on April 4 in Jefferson City, Mo.

The purpose of the event is to show state lawmakers how University of Missouri (UM) undergraduates are participating in meaningful research.

“UMKC students will show legislators work that has a specific bearing on the people of Missouri,” said James B. Murowchick, Ph.D., a geosciences professor and director of SEARCH, a program that promotes undergraduate research at UMKC. He hopes legislators walk away from the event knowing that state university classrooms are not just about lectures and exams. Universities are also engaging students in cutting-edge and relevant research.

Lori Erickson’s research has resulted in the creation of a single source catalog that lists assistance programs for Missouri’s young adults who need help paying for their prescriptions. The work has already been received by health care professionals as a valuable resource.

Erickson of Salina, Kan., is a senior in nursing and chemistry at UMKC. Her work is titled “Finding paths to saving money for young adults’ medications.”

Other UMKC students presenting research at Undergraduate Research Day are:

• Tara Culver, a recent graduate in molecular biology and biochemistry from Carroll, Iowa, will present “What costs Missourians $826 million last year?” Her work is relevant to understanding the biomolecular basis for neurological disorders, such as Alzheimers Disease.

• Amy Fisher, is a senior in chemistry from Excelsior Springs, Mo. Her presentation “Polymerization volume change—we’ve got change!” explores the expansion behavior of mixtures of dental restoration polymers.

• Harivarun Kalluri, a junior in pharmaceutical science from Hyderabad, India, will present “Unfolding of the world’s largest protein” (an investigation of molecular-level muscle operation with relevance to understanding muscle disorders and diseases).

• Kristin Nicole French, a senior in the Conservatory of Music-Vocal Performance from Lansing, Kan., will present “Theme and Imitations: The Musical of Musicals: The Musical.” The play takes a comedic look at the heritage of Broadway musicals and gives homage to its major creators.

• Erin Naes, a senior in biology from Florissant, Mo., will present “Steroid hormone mediated gene expression,” an investigation of hormone receptors and activators with a bearing on understanding certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

About 40 students from the four UM campuses are scheduled to display their research work in the Capitol rotunda next week. Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol started four years ago with UM Columbia. This is UMKC’s third year to participate.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).



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