Students Showcase Research at the Ninth Annual Student Research Symposium

Published on 22 June 2018

In April, St. Louis College of Pharmacy hosted its ninth annual Student Research Symposium, where the work of nearly 100 students was showcased. The event featured both poster and podium sessions highlighting student findings on a wide range of topics.

After teaming up with a faculty mentor, students worked for months to prepare for the symposium. In recent years, presentations at the symposium have focused on everything from antibiotic therapy efficacy and molecular dynamics studies to the therapeutic benefits of computers and modeling compounds and the efficacy of peer tutoring on biology students.

“I started conducting research in cancer biology and drug delivery under Dr. Noha Salama, which led me to attend the MIT Amgen Scholars program and research hypermutation in colorectal cancer in the lab of Tyler Jacks at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research,” said P3 student Abbey Jin, president of the Student Research Journal. “Now, I am working in the labs of Dr. Dana Morrone studying ribonucleic acid ligation assays to further my interests in molecular biology. I’m also working with Dr. Scott Micek examining antimicrobial de-escalation in clinics to expand my knowledge of clinical infectious diseases.”

As the College advances its research agenda, student interest in research has steadily grown over the years, expanding student opportunities beyond the College.

“The Student Research Symposium continues to grow every year, and students actively seek opportunities to participate in research both in the lab and at practice sites across the St. Louis area,” said Sara Richter, Pharm.D. ’12, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the College. “An expanded space and growing partnerships have allowed the College to embrace a culture that is more focused on research, creating more opportunities for faculty and students.”

Richter adds that advances in the medical community are a direct result of research conducted around the world.

“Understanding the basics of conducting research and evaluating literature is an important skill for future pharmacists when deciding how to optimize care for patients,” Richter said. “I think that participating in research equips students with the skills necessary to make a big impact later on in their careers.”

For Jin, the research opportunities offered at the College have not only allowed her to dive deeper into specific areas of study, but they have shaped every facet of her academic career.

“I believe student research is extremely important because it helps reinforce the knowledge students obtain in the classroom,” Jin said. “Research expands their critical thinking and communication skills and teaches them the discipline required to become the next generation of great thinkers. It also fosters the spirit of collaboration and the importance of sharing knowledge to reach the ultimate goal of better patient care.”

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