Rachel Eddy, an undergraduate in the lab, took the Mural Painting course offered through the art department this past fall quarter. Every year the Mural Painting class paints a mural on campus or in town. This year the class did the Rock Island Greenway Mural which will be along the bike path that the city of Ruston is building to encourage walking and biking riding across town. The class is 10 weeks and during that time the students prep the wall, outline the design, and paint the mural. There was a community paint day one Saturday morning where the Mayor of Ruston invited residents to come out and paint some of the mural. I'm so glad that our science students explore their passions outside of biology!!
Friday and Saturday some members of the Newman lab, along with members of Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore's lab and Dr. Gergana Nestorova's lab went down to Baton Rouge to present on their work funding through the Louisiana Space Grant (LaSPACE). The work presented at the meeting ranged from understanding atmosphere composition on Venus to recording and studying the recent solar eclipse. Our work on biomaterial-cell interaction and tissue engineering was well received and everyone did a great job! An especially big congratulations to Haley Barnett who gave her first conference oral presentation!!!!
On Friday night, to celebrate the end of the Fall Quarter and our presentations, we went out for dinner and to walk around Perkins Row in Baton Rouge. LaSPACE coordinator, Colleen Fava joined us for a fun evening.
Saturday morning started out with a jog around the lake outside of the hotel, before heading back to the conference for more presentations and the student poster session.
Saturday had more presentations and the poster session where students gave a short "elevator pitch" and shared their research with other students and researchers. Everyone did a great job and learned a lot about different areas of space-related research.
This month students in the lab attended two different conferences where some of them were able to present their research and learn about new areas in biomedical research.
Chris Miller and Joseph Straub, PhD students in the lab, took a trip to West Virginia to present at the Regional IDeA Conference. I didn't go with them so this was their first opportunity to practice their networking skills. I am proud of them for making the trip and representing the lab. Joseph was selected to present a poster on his project investigating the role of MED31 in human mesenchymal stem cells and was able to have some good conversations about his research with other scientists attending the conference.
This past Friday a few students from the lab traveled to Shreveport for Industry Day, a joint conference between Louisiana Tech and LSU Health in Shreveport. This is a busy time of year as we start to near the end of the quarter so I appreciate that these students took the time to go learn and share their research with members of our more local research community. Rachel Eddy, India Pursell, both undergraduates, and Haley Barnett, a PhD student presented on their tissue engineering project, and Jacob Cambre, another undergraduate represented the group investigating Notch signaling in adipose stem cells.
Congratulations to undergraduate, Rachel Eddy, for being awarded a Louisiana Space Consortium Undergraduate Research Assistantship. The award provides Rachel with a $5,000 stipend to continue her research in the lab along with $1,000 in travel money to aid in her attendance at a conference where she will present her research. Previously Cam Tran and Katie Whitehead have also received funding form LaSPACE for their work on a related tissue engineering project. Congratulations Rachel!
Optimization and Characterization of the Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Tailorable Hydrogel Scaffolds | $6,000
Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) Undergraduate Research Assistantship 2017-2018
On Saturday we celebrated the graduation of Louisiana Tech's 2017 Spring Graduates. It was the largest graduating class in the school's history with over 900 graduating students. Among them were Marcus Kety (BS, Biomedical Engineering), Justin Philobos (BS, Biological Sciences) and Katie Whitehead (MS, MSNT). Marcus will be staying on to complete his Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering under my supervision, so we don't have to say goodbye just yet. Justin is heading back home to California where he will be applying for medical school. Katie will also be taking the year off to apply to medical school (and help us write a few manuscripts on the work she did in the lab over the last three years). All of these students have been a joy to have in the lab! We will miss Katie's dedication and generosity in helping to train and mentor so many of the students who are now in the group and we will definitely miss Justin's cheerful spirit and infectious lab, but we are excited to see what the next chapter of their life holds. Congratulations Marcus, Justin, and Katie!! I am so proud to have been a part of your time at Louisiana Tech!!!
Today the winners of the Louisiana Tech Research Symposium were honored in a reception hosted by Dr. Stan Napper, the Vice President for Research and Development, and Dr. Les Guice, University President. It is a great opportunity for the students to be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments in conducting and presenting research. People got a little tired of hearing the Newman Lab be called up for an award, but these students worked hard and deserved the honor. Below are the students receiving their awards with Dr. Guice.
Dr. Guice invited the students into his office following the reception so that they could see the view from the 16th floor and get a picture with the bulldog.
Today was the 91st Annual Louisiana Academy of Sciences Meeting hosted by Louisiana Tech University. This was an exciting day not only for members of the lab, but we also presented on the digital painting and medical illustration collaboration. I gave an oral presentation along with Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore and Mr. Nicholas Bustamante, and 2 students from the class presented posters with Kaitlin Maloy winning 1st place in the undergraduate poster competition for the social sciences and humanities division. In addition, Joseph and Katie gave oral presentations in the graduate oral presentation competition where Katie was awarded 1st place, and all of the undergraduates participated in the poster presentations with Justin, India, and Rachel awarded 1st place in that category. Marcus, Natalee, and Jacob presented on the Notch project and Matt and Mike presented on the Mediator project. Once again a great job by everyone in the lab!! I continue to be so proud of this group and how they represent the lab every where they go.
Today was Louisiana Tech's winter commencement ceremony and the graduation of our own Demi Sandel. I was happy to attend the graduation and glad that Demi brought back a few former lab members to join in this special celebration. Demi joined the lab just as things were getting started and has seen a lot in the 3 years she has been a part of the group. Demi has been (and will continue to be as she works in the lab as a research associate in the spring quarter) a major contributor to the project investigating the role of Notch in Mesenchymal and Adipose Stem Cells. During her time in the lab Demi has received a number of awards and recognition including:
* Louisiana Board of Regents Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience Award (2015)
* 3 College of Applied and Natural Sciences Minigrants (2015, 2016, 2017)
* College of Applied and Natural Sciences Featured Student (2015)
* One of 10 students selected to present a poster (2016) and an oral presentation (2017) at the University of Louisiana Annual Academic Summit
* 3rd place in the undergraduate poster competition at the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network Annual Meeting (2017)
* Accepted to and participated in the Baylor School of Medicine SMART Program (2016)
* Demi has also presented at international conferences, as well as University and state conferences
Demi graduated today magna cum laude with a BS in Biological Sciences and will continue to work in the lab this spring quarter. Demi plans to apply for MD and MD/PhD programs over the next year and we wish her all the best. She has been a pleasure to have in the lab and a great mentor to students who join the lab. Congratulations Demi!! We are very proud of you!!
Yesterday awards were announced for the 2017 Louisiana Tech Research Symposium and everyone from the lab who presented was recognized. I could not be prouder of the lab especially considering that I have been on maternity leave all quarter and so they did much of this preparation on their own. The more senior students in the lab stepped up to help those students competing in the poster presentations, none of whom had ever done a poster before. Oral presentations were judged by faculty and graduate students from disciplines across campus. Poster presentations were judged by faculty from various disciplines across campus. Being judged by people outside of their field indicates the students' ability to talk about their research to people who are not experts in this area of biology or, in many cases, any area of biology, For most of the students this was their first poster presentation or oral presentation - not a bad way to start!
Awards were given as follows:
Katie Whitehead - 1st place Gradaute student oral presentation
Joseph Straub - 3rd place Graduate student oral presentation
Demi Sandel - Invited to attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit in undergraduate oral presentation (one of only 5 students selected in this category)
Marcus Kety, Jacob Cambre, and Natalee Dinkins - 2nd place undergraduate poster presentation and will attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit
Justin Philobos, India Pursell, and Rachel Eddy - 3rd place undergraduate poste presentation and will attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit
Matthew Busby and Michael Osmun - Invited to attend the University of Louisiana System Academic Summit in undergraduate poster presentation
Today was the annual Louisiana Tech Research Symposium. The whole lab had the opportunity to present and might have been the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, that we have all been in the same place at the same time. Good opportunity to get a lab photo!
Some of the more senior students, Demi, Katie, and Joseph, gave great oral presentations about their research. The newer students gave their first poster presentations for the lab. They had to tackle some tough questions from the faculty judges, but were well prepared and did a great job. So proud of everyone for the effort they put into preparing for today. Great job!!!
Dr. Jamie Newman
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences