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Undergraduate Students Gain Research Experience at MU

July 30, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573)882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Opting for books over the beach, dozens of undergraduate students at the University of Missouri are spending their summers as undergraduate research interns, making an investment in their future and the future of society.
Summer interns work side-by-side with faculty mentors to gain hands-on experience in their area of research. Mentors are members of the MU faculty and are among the leading researchers in their fields.
On Thursday, July 31, students will present their work at the 2008 MU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum and is sponsored by the MU Office of Undergraduate Research. The event will take place in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU campus. A student recognition ceremony will be held from 1-1:30 p.m. in Monsanto Auditorium and poster presentations will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in McQuinn Atrium.

“During the 2008 MU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum, students have the opportunity to present research they have completed and to practice their communication skills,” said Linda Blockus, director of undergraduate research. “The event also helps to demonstrate the role of higher education in developing educated citizens and preparing a work force with necessary skills to further the economic growth of the state.”
Participating undergraduates work full –time during the summer conducting research in areas such as environmental biology, psychology, engineering and genetics. Research topics include, “Vegetative biotype mapping to compare Columbia, Missouri neighborhoods,” “Linking hormone replacement therapy to Lymphedema in breast cancer survivors,” and “Effect of heat stress on sow fertility.”
Students are sophomores, juniors or seniors and hail from over 35 colleges and universities from across the country, including MU.  Summer interns are supported by the university and grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides students with a variety of educational and social events throughout the summer. Students are given a chance to bond through activities including an intern-mentor barbeque, tours of MU research facilities, and a plant genomics seminars.

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