Rochester, MI, August 03, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- For the past three months, a select group of six undergraduate students has worked with faculty in Oakland University’s Eye Research Institute (ERI) on projects investigating causes and potential cures for eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy.
The students – Maya Sammane, Adam Seidel, Maria Donovan, Anthony Premceski, Reham Karana and Regan Miller – took part in OU’s Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research (SUPER), helping carry out experiments that could lead to breakthroughs in treatments for vision loss.
Utilizing the latest scientific methodologies and equipment, students worked under guidance from ERI faculty mentors on research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
The students worked in the lab roughly 30 hours per week for 12 weeks, learning research fundamentals, including keeping a research notebook, evaluating research literature and following laboratory protocols. Acceptance into the SUPER program is selective, according to ERI Director Frank Giblin.
“We look for high-achieving students in science and math, especially organic chemistry and calculus,” said Dr. Giblin. “Most of our students have an interest in medical school or graduate school. About 75 to 80 percent go on to pursue graduate education.”
Dr. Giblin said the program is geared toward underclassmen and that most of the participants continue to work with their faculty mentors after their SUPER experience has ended. Some have gone on to publish scholarly articles with their mentors.
“Most of the students come in knowing very little about research,” Dr. Giblin said. “They learn from the ground up about how research is conducted, the scientific method, how to formulate a hypothesis, how frustrating research can be and the failures that happen along the way. Research is difficult, but you can achieve a satisfying result.”
To apply for the program, students submit a personal narrative outlining career goals and interests, a letter of reference, academic transcripts and a resume. They are also interviewed by ERI faculty members.
Those admitted to the program receive a research fellowship of $3,750. Students also attend a weekly Vision Science seminar given by ERI and Beaumont Ophthalmology faculty and receive training in professional speaking and presentation.
The SUPER program recently concluded with a public symposium, during which students delivered 15-minute PowerPoint presentations on their projects.
To learn more about the Eye Research Institute at Oakland University, visit oakland.edu/eri.