Research at RBC

Presentation Part of Hands-on Research at RBC

Equine blood and plasma transfusions, optogenetic applications for treating spinal cord injury and new, targeted drug delivery for treatment of arterial plaque buildup are among the topics researched by undergraduates of the Regenerative Bioscience Center (RBC) Fellows Program.

Students present at least once a year at the RBC Fellows Research Symposium, which was designed and led by Franklin West, associate professor of animal and dairy science in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. 

“This year’s symposium was an amazing event for students, faculty and families. We even had one mother drive from Virginia to see her daughter, Mary Kate Mehegan, which really shows what this event means to the students and their families,” said West.

Mehegan, a fourth-year animal science major in CAES, said mentors within the RBC “foster an environment where undergraduates feel welcome and comfortable with asking questions, while still demanding the highest commitment to quality research.” 

Meagan Thomason, also a fourth-year animal science major, shared her sentiments.

“I was unaware of the range of research topics being undertaken by students in the RBC, but I have enjoyed learning about different studies, their significance and what future implications they may possess,” Thomason said. “It is apparent that every mentor in the program wants to see their students succeed.”

The topics presented by the CAES students included research on developing tests to determine changes in brain cellular composition in experimental models of trauma. Posters and videos highlighted behavioral tests to assess cognitive abilities. The group’s research findings will serve as a platform for the development of effective treatments for traumatic brain injury.

“The greatest thing about the RBC is the importance of the work everyone is doing,” said Kayla Hargrove, a third-year animal science major. “All of us are diligently working toward creating models and testing potential solutions for various diseases and conditions that are currently preventing people from living healthy, normal lives. Even if it’s many years from now, someone, somewhere could have their life changed by what we’re doing. It doesn’t get much greater than that.”