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ABI Announces Recipients of Biotechnology Research Internships


Biosciences interns and mentors
From left are Dr. Shiguang Yu, Ganlei Huang  Dr. Maureen Dolan, Ujas Patel,
Jarrod Creameans and Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar.

JONESBORO – Three Arkansas State University students today were named recipients of Biotechnology Research Internships awarded by the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, according to Dr. Andy Sustich, vice provost for research and graduate studies at A-State.

The summer internship program provides financial support to undergraduate science majors who want to obtain research experience in the life sciences in support of their career goals.

The recipients this year are Jarrod Creameans of Searcy, Ganlei Huang of China, and Ujas Patel of India.

“The mission of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute is research, and a key part of any research mission in the sciences includes training for future scientists,” Sustich said.  “ABI is pleased to integrate these outstanding undergraduate students into its ongoing research programs.”

Each of the interns will be mentored by a faculty member whose professional background fits with the student’s goals.  Selection for the internship is based on academic credentials and the compatibility of the student and mentor’s research interests.

“In addition to their learning and applying new laboratory techniques, these students will be observed by their faculty mentors to see how their understanding of a research scientist’s job and its potential as a career path evolves as they progress through the summer.”

Each award is $2,500, for which the student will work 200 hours during the summer.  ABI will provide an additional $500 to the supporting laboratory for research supplies.

Creameans is a sophomore biological science major with a minor in chemistry and an emphasis In pre-professional medical studies.  His faculty mentor will be Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar.  With an interest in science since grade school, his goal is to complete his degree in medicine then work in impoverished areas of third-world countries.

“Arkansas State drew me in with the Honors College and the hospitality they exhibited while I visited. I saw how eager the students were to help me although they had never met me, and was instantly hooked,” Creameans recalled. “Now I could not imagine calling any place other than Arkansas State home.”

Huang is a junior majoring in animal science with a pre-veterinary medicine emphasis.  Her faculty mentor will be Dr. Shiguang Yu.

“Freshman year was the most difficult year for me because I had to get used to the American lifestyle and overcome the language barrier.   Fortunately, with the help of nice professors and American friends, I quickly adapted to the school life in America,” Huang explained.  “Thanks to the American education system, I have made great progress not only academically, but also in communication and cooperation with people.”

She got involved with alternative spring break through Volunteer ASU, Pre-Vet Club, Delta Tau Alpha agriculture honors society, and other campus activities.

Patel is a biological science major with a pre-professional emphasis in medical studies.  His faculty mentor will be Dr. Maureen Dolan.  His own childhood medical experience with tonsillitis sparked his scientific interest, which was further developed while accompanying his mother to her doctor visits.

While at A-State, he has worked as a volunteer at St. Bernards Medical Center to become more familiar with the hospital environment and to see the interaction between employees and patients.

“I saw the dedication of my colleagues, whether it involved comforting patients during blood withdrawal, or simply willing to navigate patients to their desired location in the hospital,” he said.  “Combining the academic and hands-on experience has elevated my enthusiasm in science and my desire to attend medical school to become a physician.”

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