Twenty-three Students Given Paid Research Opportunity

July 23, 2018

By Nick Fedele '19

This summer, 23 Saint Anselm College students are conducting research while gaining valuable skills through the NH-INBRE and ISURF Program.

New Hampshire INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence), a program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, funds student work with the aim of developing a coordinated network of biomedical research and research training in New Hampshire. The program is part of the larger National Institute of Health IDeA Program.

Rising junior Emily Falanga, a biology and pre-medicine major, is working with biology professor Lori LaPlante identifying the carotenoid content in the skin and scales of M. Ramirezi fish. “Through my research I am gaining knowledge in the field of science that better equips me for a career as a physician’s assistant,” Falanga says.

Working with Professor Adam Wenzel of the psychology department, recent graduates Michael Dicalogero ’18 and Ashley Kosikowski ’18 are researching the sensory system; Dicalogero is focusing on vision, while Kosikowski is studying smell.

INBRE is providing the two psychology majors with the opportunity to explore careers in a lab. This especially impacts Dicalogero as he looks to translate his summer research to his full-time job as a lab manager at FSU university which he starts in the fall.

“On-campus summer research has given me more experience in labs, along with applying what I have learned through my textbook readings to a topic I’m truly interested in,” says Dicalogero.   

Rising junior Paul Zayka concurs with his fellow student-researchers, acknowledging the summer experience as valuable in his desire for a career working in a lab. As an intern in the chemistry department for Professor Matthew Hurley, Zayka is investigating a new drug delivery system. He says Professor Hurley has been helpful not only with regard to lab work, but also in giving him career and graduate school advice. He hopes to work in the field of solar energy systems.

“NH-INBRE gives students the opportunity to figure out what research they like and to see if they even like doing research,” says Hurley. “Through this summer research program, students develop their lab skills and learn based on their own trial and error.”

With Professor William Ryerson in the biology department, recent graduate Weiman Tan ’18 is researching snakes striking their prey. She is looking forward to bringing her skillset to her full-time job at Dartmouth as a lab tech, which she starts in the fall.

Not only does the INBRE program support student research, but it also provides grants to faculty. This summer, four professors were awarded INBRE grants: Derk Wierda (chemistry) received a research training grant; LaPlante (biology) received a seed grant; Elizabeth Greguske (biology) received a targeted grant; and Deborah McCarter (nursing) received a two-year nursing grant.

Research grants through the INBRE program also provide experience outside Saint Anselm College labs. Rising senior Valerie Pauer (nursing) is spending the summer conducting biomedical research at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Through her ISURF-Nursing Fellowship, Pauer is experiencing the research process first-hand in collaboration with practicing Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center nurse-scientist mentors.

Students will present their research findings at an INBRE conference which will be held at Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H. on August 13.