One of the main goals of the Wyoming INBRE Network continues to be to increase education and research opportunities for Wyoming community college and University of Wyoming undergraduate students to guide them into baccalaureate programs and advanced training in the biomedical sciences and to enhance the biomedical infrastructure within the state. A variety of network linkages have been developed to provide University and community college researchers, faculty and students access to biomedical education and research resources.
The INBRE UW- Community College Transition Scholarship Program provides support for selected community college students to attend the University of Wyoming for 2 years and engage in INBRE supported research activities in addition to their degree coursework. Recipients transfer to UW as juniors and during the first semester rotate through a series of experiences in INBRE supported laboratories. In the second semester, in conjunction with a faculty member, the student selects a laboratory program to work in for the remainder of their baccalaureate program. The student must maintain full-time enrollment and at least a B (3.0) grade point average while being supported. Recipients are selected by community college INBRE collaborating faculty. The first recipient presented preliminary results of his work (Molecular Approaches for Examining the Relationship Between Intestinal Microbial Community Structure and Pediatric Crohn's Disease) at the 2008 Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day. During spring 2008 four scholarships were awarded and the students will begin their university work in the fall 2008. Also beginning in fall 2008 there will be 2 meetings per semester of INBRE administrators, faculty and scholarship recipients to assess academic and research progress, identify and address transition issues, and provide career and academic advising. In the future the goal will be to award four scholarships each year to students transitioning to the university in the fall. For application information see: Funding Opportunities.
The INBRE UW- Community College Video Seminar Series presents videoconference seminars by University of Wyoming researchers and campus visitors to community college faculty and students using the UW Outreach Videoconference Network. On average 2 seminars have been presented per academic semester. During INBRE-2 efforts will focus on developing a regular schedule that will be published in the INBRE Newsletter and INBRE website and identifying an incentive system to attract more presenters. A statewide Videoconference Science Journal Club in which all INBRE supported students and faculty participate is also under discussion.
The INBRE UW-Community College Transition Course Program focuses on developing distance delivered (videoconference and/ or online) undergraduate life science courses that allow community college students to advance towards baccalaureate degrees in biomedical related programs before physically moving to a four-year campus. The goal of INBRE 1 was to develop five courses. To date seven courses are available to students across Wyoming (general microbiology (internet), genetics (videoconference/online hybrid), evolutionary biology (videoconference/online hybrid), principles of biochemistry (online), cell biology (videoconference), microbial ecology (videoconference), and HIV-AIDS: the epidemic and dilemma (videoconference)). INBRE-2 efforts will focus on enhancing existing courses using latest technologies (podcasting, videostreaming, and webconferencing) and developing additional courses including but not limited to biostatistics, biomedical/ research ethics, and informatics/computational biology.
The INBRE UW Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program provides support for outstanding undergraduate students in the biological and physical sciences or mathematics on the University of Wyoming campus to work on biomedical related research projects. University of Wyoming researchers apply for the scholarship to support freshman or sophomore fellows to conduct an independent research activity directed by a University of Wyoming research mentor. The goal of the program is to provide freshman/sophomore fellows with a meaningful research experience that will encourage them to pursue the baccalaureate degree in a biomedical related undergraduate program. Students receiving fellowships are expected to conduct the proposed independent study project, write a research paper describing the project and results, and present results of their work at Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day. To date 4 scholarships have been awarded. In the future the goal will be to award four scholarships per academic semester. For application information see: Funding Opportunities.
The INBRE Bioinformatics Summer Institute is a summer program for select undergraduate students from the University of Wyoming, Wyoming community colleges, other western INBRE states and select liberal arts colleges. Bringing together top students from across the country provides an intellectually stimulating and challenging environment that increases the impact of the student experience and hopefully aids UW student recruitment into informatics programs. One former participant is currently enrolled in the Molecular Biology Ph.D. program at University of Wyoming. The institute will also foster collaboration and student exchange between Western INBRE state schools. The ten week program includes a symposium with presentations describing bioinformatics research on campus, graduate research opportunities on campus, seminars from the PIs hosting students, ten weeks doing research in a host laboratory focusing on their self-declared research interests, and concluding student presentations on research accomplishments. Students also attend seminars and the Molecular Biology Distinguished Summer Scholar Lectures. In the future greater effort will be made to recruit top UW and Wyoming community college students and promote exchange among Western INBRE state universities. Links have already been established with the program in New Mexico, particularly New Mexico State University and University of New Mexico. Student slots in similar programs in New Mexico will be reserved for University of Wyoming students.