IMSD Program at a Glance

It's been almost four years since the NC State Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) first received funding from the National Institutes of Health. Since that time, more than 35 students -- both graduate and undergraduate -- have participated in the program.

The goal of IMSD is to provide support and guidance for ". . . underrepresented minority students to complete a Ph.D. in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and ultimately become faculty researchers and role models for the next generation." Although interest areas range from biochemistry to zoology, the ultimate result is a diverse biomedical and behavioral science workforce.

While in the program, students work in research labs with faculty mentors. All students are encouraged to participate in professional development seminars, as well as attend and present at local, state, and national conferences and symposiums. For the past couple years, IMSD has partnered with the Preparing Future Leaders program and NC State's Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. This partnership has led to sharing the benefits of excellent workshop and seminar programs.

So, with all this opportunity available to them, what have the IMSD students been up to lately?

The IMSD Graduate Scholars have been busy during the 2010-2011 academic year -- and here is a snapshot of their IMSD activities.

Liara Gonzalez presented a research paper both at the 2010 American College of Veterinary Surgery Symposium and at the North Carolina Veterinary Conference in November 2010. She also passed her Veterinary board exam and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery (DACVS).

Amanda Trujillo served as the site coordinator of the Wii study in Dr. Jason Allaire's lab. She initiated meetings with the wellness directors, recruited participants, and maintained contact at each site to schedule future follow-ups. Amanda is currently writing two papers with Dr. Allaire. And she has submitted three posters presentations on the Wii study to the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting.

Stephanie Hughes gave an oral presentation at the W.M Keck Center for Behavioral Biology 12th Annual Student and Postdoc Symposium, as well as a poster presentation at the 2011 Chemistry Symposium.

Meanwhile, the Undergraduate Scholars have been equally busy! They've used their IMSD opportunities this past year to really show the 'right stuff'!

Tojan Rahhal was selected to be a Jimmy V Scholar. She has visited Jordan to shadow researchers and physicians at the Arab Medical Center. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to present her research in many venues -- from the Science Café at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh to a national research conference in Florida. She also presented a poster at the 2010 NC State Summer Undergraduate Symposium.

Sarah Oxendine served as a research assistant in Dr. John Godwin's lab. She is also the Vice President of American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and a member of the Native American Students Association (NASA). She has presented posters at both the 2010 NC State Summer Undergraduate Symposium and the AISES National Conference.

Manix Eluhu presented posters at both the 9th Annual NC OPT-ED Alliance Conference and the 2010 NC State Summer Undergraduate Symposium. He was also honored at the 27th Annual ACAAGS Awards Program.

Eyob Eyualem served as a research assistant in Dr. Sombers' lab. His research focused on a neurotransmitter, Met-enkephalin. His current project explores ways to improve the detection of a small amount of current signals in the brain generated from oxidation and reduction reaction. Eyob presented a poster at the 2010 NC State Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, as well as at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Mikail Mannan worked in both Dr. Greg McCarty's and Dr. Peter Mente's labs. Mikail has had the opportunity to present posters at the NC State Summer Undergraduate Syposium for the past three years.

Sarah Busaileh worked in Dr. Orlin Velev's lab. Sara has taken a leadership role as patient intake at Raleigh's Mariam Clinic and has been featured in the News & Observer for her role at the clinic. Sara has presented posters at the NC State Summer Undergraduate Symposium for the past three years.

Congratulations to all the IMSD students!

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