Lake Superior College students present biology research at national biomedical conference

Bridges to Baccalaureate Degree Program former and current LSC students, from left to right, Anthony Marcuson, Joel Madson, and Patricia Kingsley with Lake Superior College Bridges to Baccalaureate Program Coordinator Terrence Wilcox at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Submitted
Patricia Kingsley and Anthony Marcuson, recent Lake Superior College alumni and current University of Minnesota Duluth students, and current LSC student Joel Madson represented LSC at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in November in Phoenix, AZ.

ABRCMS is the largest student-focused biomedical conference in North America. Approximately 4,000 undergraduate and post-baccalaureate student participants represented 12 disciplines in STEM fields and presented their research by either a poster or an oral presentation.

Both Kingsley and Marcuson presented their research projects in poster sessions. Madson gave an oral presentation. Kingsley’s research focused on locating a protein within the cochlea of the inner ear that is proposed to affect hearing. Marcuson focused on neural pathways to better understand the mechanism that leads to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease.

Madson presented on the physiological control that hormones have within the cochlea to better understand the pathway of potassium recycling in the inner ear.

“We are proud of our LSC students and their impressive research presentations at the national conference,” said Terrence Wilcox, LSC biology faculty member and Bridges to Baccalaureate program coordinator. “We appreciate this valuable and productive partnership with UMD’s Biomedical Sciences Department.”

“I am proud of our trainees for coming to a large science conference to demonstrate their talents and academic abilities. The conference showcased the students as rising scholars,” said Dr. Benjamin Clarke, University of Minnesota Director of the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program and Associate Professor, Medical School, Duluth Campus.

The LSC students are trainees in the “Bridges to Baccalaureate Degree Program”, a two-year science research training program. Funded by a grant from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the “Bridges” program is coordinated in partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus.

The undergraduate students work on biomedical research projects and are mentored by UMD faculty. The Bridges Program provides professional development activities and an appointment as a paid research assistant. Trainees participate for 10 weeks of full-time employment during the summer, and part-time employment at 15 hours per week during the academic year. The role of the program is to develop a pipeline for LSC students to pursue biomedical research careers.

Since the program inception in 1995, there have been more than 90 LSC students who have participated in training with many of these students progressing on to graduate school or medical school.

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