Hodson Research Institute enters its seventh year!

HRI Participants Poster 2017.jpg

The seventh annual IWU Hodson Research Institute (HRI) along with 2 research grants from the National Science Foundation have supported the research efforts of 25 students (pictured above) and 11 faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences this summer. The participants conduct full-time, original research for eight weeks addressing cutting-edge areas including:

  • Glial cell regulation of neuronal signaling in the retina. (Dr. Kreitzer NSF award 1557820) 
  • Investigating rescue mechanisms for bone cancer drug side effects. (Dr. Jones HRI award)
  • Constructing realistic molecular models of small molecules in silico and using computer simulations to evaluate their potential to control the SHP-2 enzyme. (Dr. McCullough HRI award)
  • Analysis of data from a nuclear physics experiment conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory to better understand how fast neutrons interact with and scatter from nuclei in BC408, a organic scintillator commonly used for fast neutron detection, in an effort to improve on Monte Carlo simulations used for interpreting experimental data from experiments conducted at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University.  (Dr. Rogers NSF award and IWU Blanchard Endowment)
  • Developing potent and selective small molecule inhibitors of the oncogenic phosphatase Shp2 which contributes to many developmental diseases and cancers. (Dr. S Leonard HRI award)
  • Studying the effect of CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) peptide and VPAC2 receptor signaling deficiencies on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and maintenance of testicular and ovarian functions in mice. (Dr. Asnicar HRI award)
  • Studying several aspects of Moringa a plant with high nutrition and antibacterial qualities including: callus for transformation work, testing extracts as plant fertilizer and growth stimulant and comparing nutrition of leaves grown in growth chambers that simulate different climates. (Dr. Miller HRI award)
  • Developing molecular tools to better understand the telomeres of the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. (Dr. Linger HRI award)
  • Investigating the biochemical requirements for activation and viral packaging of cellular kinase Hck by HIV-1 Nef. (Dr. J Leonard HRI award)

Most participants will continue their work in the upcoming academic year as part of the burgeoning undergraduate research program involving more than 50 undergraduates during the semester in the Division of Natural Sciences. All HRI participants will present their work at the annual Hodson Colloquium at IWU in the fall as well as IWU’s Celebration of Scholarship in the spring.  Many students will also present their findings at regional and national scientific symposia over the course of the academic year!