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Morgan Tripod is Top Oral Presenter at INBRE Conference


JONESBORO – When it comes to her research, Arkansas State University senior Morgan Tripod of Paragould has proven she can "talk the talk."

Tripod won first place for oral presentation in biological science at the recent Arkansas INBRE Conference in Fayetteville.  INBRE stands for IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence.

"My research was about a protective protein that may prove to be a therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel disease," Tripod explained.  The formal title of her presentation was "RNA-Binding Protein Regulates Interleukin-22 Production in T Helper Cells."

She added, "I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to do research at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at A‑State and am extremely grateful for all of the support."

Tripod, a biology major with a pre-medical emphasis, is an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Shiguang Yu in his immunology lab at ABI.

"Morgan Tripod is an excellent student working at my laboratory," Yu said. "She has great enthusiasm to do biomedical research.  The project she conducted was supported previously by the Arkansas INBRE program and it has a close relationship with our current NIH (National Institutes of Health) project."

Her current research, which she presented at the INBRE conference, is the basis for her Honors thesis project.

According to its website, Arkansas INBRE builds on the successful Arkansas Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) program that was established in 2001 under an NIH grant. BRIN formed a network of Arkansas higher education institutions into a statewide infrastructure supporting initiatives in biomedical research.

"This is a great achievement considering that the students from many institutions in Arkansas as well as neighboring states such as Missouri and Oklahoma competed," said Dr. Malathi Srivatsan, assistant director of Arkansas Biosciences Institute.  "Congratulations to Dr. Yu for his support and mentoring that led to the success of this research."

Dr. Andrew Sustich, vice provost for research and graduate studies, attended the INBRE conference and also congratulated Tripod and Yu.

"She did an outstanding job on the presentation and was able to handle follow-up questions very well, showing a real understanding of the research," Sustich said.

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Morgan Tripod
Morgan Tripod