Nationally recognized scientists, researchers, faculty and students gathered at UGA April 22 for the inaugural undergraduate symposium hosted by the Regenerative Bioscience Center. The event provided research undergraduates the opportunity to present their work to the scientific university community.
“I am so incredibly glad to have had the opportunity to attend and present in the first symposium,” said Kayla Hargrove, a student in the lab of faculty member Franklin West. “Coming together with peers is an integral part of the research experience.”
To date over 50 students have enrolled as RBC Fellows. At the symposium, 24 selected students presented their work in either a poster or oral presentation.
Topics presented this year included research on traumatic brain injuries, cognitive testing in animal models and 3-D modeling.
Jarrod Call, a skeletal muscle physiologist, opened the symposium.
In his remarks, Call spoke about three research values: the importance of advancing science or intellectual imagination, allowing scientists to imagine the world in its true beauty and that science creates individuals who are not afraid to doubt or to ask tough questions.
“Don’t stop doubting, don’t ever stop being curious—be brave enough to explore the unknown, and courageous enough to fail,” Call said. “It is often through doubt, curiosity and failure that in life—and in science—that we make the true discoveries.”
As the founding developer and leader of the undergraduate program, West understands what students took away from the overall learning experience.
“What these students have learned will not only make them better scientists, but better people—lifelong learners who question and strive to better understand the world around them,” said West, an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
One of the benefits of being an RBC Fellow is the opportunity to interact with more than 30 faculty members in the areas of veterinary medicine, toxicology, neuroscience and cancer research.
Hannah Mason, a research student for Lohitash Karumbaiah, said she appreciates the diversity of the RBC research labs, “which span many different departments.
“Being an RBC Undergraduate Fellow grants us the unique opportunity to interact directly, through the symposium, collaboration and other means, with a more diverse faculty and students from all over campus,” Mason said.