COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Associate professor of biology Dr. Ghanshyam Heda and students Jamie Holder, Lisa Shrestha and Shreya Ghimere, along with a staff scientist Oluwabukola Omotola attended the 80th annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences in Hattiesburg.

The meeting took place on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi, where students and faculty members from several colleges and universities across the state of Mississippi participated. Undergraduates, graduate students and professors were welcomed to participate in the meeting.

“When you go to this meeting, you get the chance to make connections,” Omotola said.Heda added, “It is an organization forum where college students of all levels from undergraduate to doctoral programs come together and present their research along with their professors.”

Heda also noted that participating in such meetings is a great way for graduate students to present at the regional level. He also said that it motivates them for higher studies and boosts their communication skills.

During the meeting, Heda presented an oral presentation on a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis. Holder and Omotola presented their research in the form of posters.

Holder’s research was about stress-inducing agents that impact the bioactivity of occidiofungin s. cerevisiae. The goal of her research was to see find means of protection against occidiofungin. Holder’s research was part of her 2015 summer research internship at Mississippi State University funded by the Mississippi INBRE program.

Omotola, a Nigerian native, presented her research on the multiple usage of buffers that are used in a protein biochemistry technique called western blotting. The main purpose of this research is to save time resources and more importantly the environment from the toxic substance methanol that makes these buffers.

Shreshtha and Ghimere, both sophomores from Nepal, attended the meeting for the first time and obtained firsthand knowledge on how research findings are shared and disseminated at scientific gatherings.

Heda thanked the Mississippi INBRE program (funded by the National Institutes of Health) and
the Mississippi NASA consortium for funding this trip.

March 14, 2016
Contact: Toni Burkett
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