GFC MSU Bio Research Microscope

Student researcher Dylan Maxwell checks his findings before presenting results on Tuesday. Fellow researchers is Anne Rice. The students were part of a weekend biomedical research project led by researchers from MSU Bozeman. The project’s goal is to expose students to biomedical research and encourage them to consider continuing their education in the field.

COVER PHOTO: Student researchers from Great Falls College Montana State University presented their findings Tuesday, following a biomedical research workshop led by researchers from MSU Bozeman. The project’s goal is to expose students to biomedical research and encourage them to consider continuing their education in the field. From left are Dylan Maxwell, Victoria Rose, Elise Conter and Anne Rice.

GREAT FALLS —Great Falls College MSU students had the opportunity to participate in a unique Introduction to Biomedical Research workshop over the weekend. 

Researchers from MSU, Dr. Christa Merzdorf and Dr. Jennifer Forecki, hosted the event in which the students completed a research project from start to finish in three days. Students utilize zebra fish embryos and monitor their development after exposure to environmental chemicals such as alcohol or caffeine.  Anne Rice, a student taking classes at GFC MSU who will transfer to an animal science program at MSU in Bozeman next year, said her favorite part was calculating how much the equivalent caffeine dose would be in a human. “It’s equivalent to about 10 Red Bulls which is a crazy amount, and then we had to calculate how to dilute that down to a more reasonable dose.” 

Two other participants, Victoria Rose and Elise Conter, who are working towards associate degrees and taking general education classes, both agreed seeing the developmental changes in the fish in just a few hours was an interesting experience and not something they had done in other classes.  Having the two researchers leading the class allowed students to have a lot of one-on-one time; Dylan Maxwell, a first-year student in the 1+3 engineering transfer program, said he valued the educational opportunity and making connections for when he transfers to Bozeman next year.  

Dr. Brenda Canine, GFC MSU biology faculty, thinks it is a great opportunity for students to experience what a research project might be like.  “Project based learning is incredibly valuable for students and allows learning to continue to happen outside a traditional classroom environment.”

This workshop was free for GFC MSU students and is supported through a National Institutes of Health grant geared towards inspiring students at two-year and tribal colleges to pursue biomedical career pathways.  The workshop concluded on Tuesday with students presenting their findings.

Posted at fairfieldsuntimes.com