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UNI science students doing summer research on- and off-campus

June 11, 2003

Cheryl Smith, program assistant, UNI College of Natural Sciences, (319) 273-6809
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Following a semester of extensive reading, seven University of Northern Iowa science students are conducting summer research projects, five on-campus and two off-campus.

The on-campus students-- Jacob Becker of Spencer, Sherrie Renee Elzey of Sully, Jeff Fisher of Cedar Falls, Michelle Healy of Muscatine and Jason McIntosh of Honey Creek-- are particicpating in the Merck/AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Undergraduate Science Research Program, which promotes interdisciplinary research among undergraduates in the natural sciences.

Becker, a son of Margaret Becker, will research the effects of Atrazine and its metabolites on human cell growth from pesticide-contaminated Iowa water resources. He is a senior biology/biomedical major.

Elzey, a daughter of Paul and Ruth Elzey, will work on fabrication and characterization of nonlinear photorefractive holographic film. She is a senior with a double major in chemistry and physics.

Fisher, a senior environmental geography major, is a son of Mary Fisher. His project involves predicting high mosquito densities using global positioning systems.

Healy, a daughter of Liam and Kathy Healy, is a senior biology major. She will study the effects of an extract from the eastern cedar, Juniperus virginiana, on cancer cell growth and motility.

A senior chemistry major, and the son of Cathy Gallentine, McIntosh will research microelectronics of phospholipid bilayers in aqueous solutions.

The program is funded by the Merck Company Foundation, a private, charitable foundation established by Merck & Co., a pharmaceutical manufacturer, and administered by the AAAS, the world's largest federation of scientific and engineering societies.

The off-campus students are Jessica Ball of Mount Pleasant, and Libby K. Long of Altoona, both junior biology majors. Ball will do research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha on the function of homeobox genes in skeletal and neural tube development. Long will work at the Des Moines University School of Osteopathic Medicine, and participate in a clinical study of the postprandial kinetics of insulin, glucagon and cholecytokinin.

In August, all of the students will present their findings at a poster session that will feature a talk by a University of Texas medical researcher on the discovery of how cholera is transmitted.