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UM, UMMC Research Day showcases best of scientific studies

Published on Monday, April 13, 2015

By: Jennifer Farish, University of Mississippi at 662-915-5079 or jpfarish@olemiss.edu.

Published in News Stories on April 13, 2015

The scientific and scholarly studies of more than 100 researchers representing the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson were presented and displayed Friday at UM. 

"The response to Research Day has been fantastic," said Alice Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs at UM. "It's truly exciting to see how many faculty members and researchers participated. When great minds meet and share ideas, especially if the minds are coming from a wide range of disciplines and represent a great diversity of experience and thought, that's when the most exciting collaborations and innovations are born."

Reckelhoff (Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)
Reckelhoff (Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)

Forty-two researchers gave three-minute lectures throughout the day. The diverse research topics covered various areas including hypertension; protein levels in breast milk; computational medicinal chemistry; stuttering inhibition method and device; early brain development; behavioral change; education theory; understanding culture through fiction; antifungal drug discoveries; prostate cancer resistance to radiation; and food systems. 

Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor of Physiology at UMMC, discussed her studies of the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome.

"It's contracted by very young women, but most won't find out they even have this condition until they attempt to conceive," Reckelhoff said. "Using laboratory rats, we've been able to develop models that show ovary cysts' connections to hypertension, obesity, and increases in insulin, glucose and cholesterol levels."

Ervin (Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)
Ervin (Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)

Some researchers profiled their work in the ever-evolving field of diagnostics.

"I've developed a software program that can be used to analyze structures of any kind," said Elizabeth Ervin, UM associate professor of civil engineering and director of its Multi-Function Dynamics Laboratory. "Producing colored sensory data, we can determine whether to repair, rehabilitate, raze or replace our state's aging bridges. Now if we can only convince the world of this." 

"The University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Mississippi have historically established many successful collaborations," said Richard Summers, associate vice chancellor of research at the Medical Center. "I am confident Research Day spurred on many new partnerships and helped our campuses cross-pollinate ideas."

(Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)
(Photo: University Communications at the University of Mississippi)

In addition to the mini-presentations, 77 research posters were prepared for the meeting. Subjects included flood models, neuroscience, media blackout, molecular cloning, healthy eating, world religion festivals and training police to recognize terrorist and criminal behaviors. 

"Research Day is an opportunity for members of the university community and beyond to learn more about the scientific and scholarly research being done at UM and UMMC," said Teresa Carithers, associate dean of UM's School of Applied Sciences and chair of the Research Day Task Force. "The event brought together participants from all academic fields and disciplines through three-minute lectures, a poster session and networking opportunities to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration." 

Other members of the task force represented the schools of pharmacy, health related professions, health sciences, accountancy, law, dentistry, engineering, education, journalism and graduate studies. The offices of research and sponsored programs, government relations and the J.D. Williams Library were also represented on the task force.

For more information, visit  http://researchday.olemiss.edu/