Students selected for off-campus summer research

Five Northwestern College students have been selected to participate in competitive off-campus research projects this summer.

Jordan Larson, a junior biology-health professions major from Hartford, S.D., will work with Dr. Thad Rosenberger at the University of North Dakota Medical School. In a 10-week program funded by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Larson will explore a lipid metabolic pathway’s role in inflammation contributing to cell loss and memory dysfunction.

Josh Locker, an Orange City junior majoring in biology-health professions, will be doing an internship with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D. He expects to work for 11 weeks with Dr. Tim O’Connell, associate director of Sanford’s Cardiovascular Health Research Center, in a lab focusing mostly on congestive heart failure.

Rachelle Pedersen, a junior biology-health professions major from Nora Springs, Iowa, will be part of the 10-week Interdisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the University of Iowa. She will work with Dr. Sergio Paradiso in the neuroscience department, focusing on depression in older patients and the effects of depression on their psychosocial behavior and cognitive abilities.

Kelley Salem, a senior biology-health professions major from Carroll, Iowa, will also be at the University of Iowa, participating in the Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. For eight weeks, she will work in a lab with Dr. Todd Washington, whose research focuses on DNA replication, repair and mutagenesis.

Curt Van Wyk, a senior mathematics teaching and computer science major from George, Iowa, will spend eight weeks in Baltimore, working in the Center for Language and Speech Processing at Johns Hopkins University. In a program funded by an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant, Van Wyk will work with Drs. Stephen Clark, Ann Copestake and James Curran. Their project involves parsing textual data for acquisition of semantic knowledge that can be very useful in search engines.