University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

ND EPSCoR announces UND AURA winners

The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) announces the 2010 Advanced Undergraduate Research Award (AURA) winners at UND. The goal of AURA is to encourage undergraduate students to consider a career that involves research in Science, Engineering, or Mathematics. AURA provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to participate in faculty-mentored research projects at the state’s two research Universities. AURA participants are awarded up to $6,500 for full-time research activities during the summer session and for part-time research activities during the fall semester. Awardees are expected to apply for a nationally competitive undergraduate scholarship during their AURA experience. The eight students participating in the AURA program at UND were competitively selected from a pool of 17 applicants. ND EPSCoR is a program supported by the National Science Foundation and the State of North Dakota at both UND and North Dakota State University.

UND AURA winners, their home towns, their faculty mentors, and the research projects in which they will participate are:

• Jacob Cooley, Grand Forks, N.D., L. Keith Henry, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Therapeutics, “Using species-specific pharmacological differences to define the molecular interactions of MDMA with the human serotonin transporter.”
• Stephanie Corbett, Wausau, Wis., Wayne Barkhouse, Department of Physics, “Multi-wavelength Observations of Distant Galaxy Clusters.”
• Mathew Malek, Minot, N.D., Rebecca Simmons, Department of Biology, “Genetic origins and relatedness of feral pig populations in California, USA.”
• John Persson, Mandan, N.D., Jerome Delhommelle, Department of Chemistry, “Molecular Simulation of magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications and ultra-high-density magnetic data storage.”
• Eric Schneider, St. Joseph, Minn., Reza Fazel-Rezai, Department of Electrical Engineering, “Virtual Keyboard based on Brain-Computer Interface.”
• Rachel Smerer, Park Rapids, Minn., Joelle Ruthig, Department of Psychology, “Older adults’ health risk perceptions and engagement in preventative health behaviors.”
• Mark Smith, East Grand Forks, Minn., Thad Rosenberger, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Therapeutics, “Cytokine-mediated activation of brain phospholipases.”
• Aubree Wilke, East Grand Forks, Minn., Steven Ralph, Department of Biology, “Genomic Approaches to Identify Insect Resistance Genes in Poplar.”

For additional information concerning ND EPSCoR or the AURA program, please contact Mark Hoffmann, assistant vice president for Research and Economic Development and ND EPSCoR co-project director, Twamley Hall 415, 264 Centennial Drive Stop 7093, Grand Forks, ND 58201-7093, 777-2492.

-- Mark R Hoffmann, assistant vice president for Research and Economic Development.


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