Four biotechnology students from State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) presented their research Feb. 23-24 at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC) being held in Melbourne at Eastern Florida State College. The students presented three abstracts that were accepted at the conference. Each of the abstracts are about antibiotic research, the students’ work in SCF’s biotech lab and their discoveries.
The students were recognized for their research into discovering new materials that could become the next generation of antibiotics as part of the Small World Initiative. SCF is one of the partners in the Initiative with Yale University. The students all said they want to continue their research even after they graduate.
Jessica Dobbs, a biotech student set to graduate in May, is already doing lab work for Lakewood-Amedex Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company focused on finding treatments for infectious diseases. Before the conference she was looking forward to going to lectures and seeing the other presentations.
Rissa Edilla, who hopes to get into the nursing program at SCF, said she has learned about infectious control and how antibiotics works. She said the classes and working on the presentation also helped her learn how to convey her knowledge, something crucial to a nursing career in which patient education and communication is key to treatment and recovery. Edilla was looking forward to presenting her research at the conference but also to furthering her education through the lectures she was able to attend.
Seth Hale, who will graduate in May with his high school diploma from State College of Florida Collegiate School and his Associate in Arts from SCF, plans to continue his research at New College where he wants to get a degree in biochemistry. He was hoping to make more connections at the conference and to study some of the other research being done across the state.
Kira Melton is passionate about antibiotic research. Before discovering biotech she thought she might want to be a medical doctor. She will graduate from SCF in May with her biotech degree and plans to enroll at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in the fall to complete classes for her bachelor’s degree. She said she is focused on finding new antibiotics. Since coming to the biotech program she has discovered that antibiotic resistance is expected to become a crisis by 2050. She wants to play a part in prevention. She said she was looking forward to the conference where she will be surrounded by other academics. She also was looking forward to presenting about the Small World Initiative and the work she and her fellow students are doing.
FURC is one of the largest multidisciplinary research conferences in the country. It is an annual event open to all undergraduate researchers in Florida to present their research in a poster forum. In addition to research presentations, there are also exhibitors from graduate programs and other opportunities targeted to students involved in undergraduate research.
For more information, contact Eric Warrick, assistant professor natural sciences, at WarricE@SCF.edu or 941-752-5564.