Thursday poster presentation spotlights SURP/SUARP

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | August 07, 2018

Image with caption: From left, McKenzie Currey, a Hastings College student, works with Kristina Bailey, M.D., in the lab.

From left, McKenzie Currey, a Hastings College student, works with Kristina Bailey, M.D., in the lab.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, about 80 undergraduate students will present scientific posters on what they've learned this summer in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) and Summer Undergraduate Alcohol Research Program (SUARP) programs. In addition, seven M.D.-Ph.D. SURP students are presenting their posters in this session.

The campuswide program began June 4 and will culminate during the poster presentation in the Sorrell Center Event Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The campus is invited.

SURP and SUARP is a collaboration between UNMC departments, institutes, colleges, student services, and graduate specialty areas to provide summer opportunities for undergraduate students to become members of research teams and discover first-hand the broad spectrum of research activities occurring at UNMC.

This summer, University of Nebraska at Omaha student Ben Paustian researched risk assessment related to outcomes in multiple myeloma and lymphoma patients undergoing stem cell transplants.

"The SURP program has given me the opportunity to experience the field I want to pursue as well as be part of a team that provides high quality care," Paustian said. "This program also has provided a great platform for learning research techniques and clinical observation. It's an invaluable experience that has helped validate and solidify my decision to pursue the health care field."

Channing Bunch, director of student recruitment and engagement and the coordinator of SURP, said 70 percent of the students are from Nebraska. Others came from California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.

Hosting 20 students, the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine has the largest number of students participating in SURP and SUARP. SUARP is funded by a grant from National Institute's of Health National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. SURP is funded by those at UNMC who host the students.

The program also has inspired some students to later become faculty at UNMC.

Bryant England, M.D., assistant professor, UNMC Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, did research in the SURP program. "As an undergraduate preparing to enter medical school, the SURP program introduced me to the process and opportunities in medical research," Dr. England said. "It served as a valuable foundation to build my clinical training upon and contributed to me pursuing a career in research as a clinician-investigator."

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