CITR's Faculty Research and Creative Activities Awards

In the Spring semester CITR hosts the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Awards. This event attempts to highlight the innovations in research and creative activities from across campus and disseminate/share the same across disciplines. Additionally, faculty present peer reviewed submissions to the university community at large.

2017 Winner for Research Development Activities

2017 winnersMette Soendergaard, Department of Chemistry - Inhibition of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay (NMD) for Detection of Novel Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers

Description: Ovarian cancer is the most fatal class of gynecological malignancies and is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Ovarian cancer has been named “the silent killer” due to asymptomatic disease development, which leads to late diagnosis and poor prognosis. To the contrary, the prognosis for women diagnosed with early stages of ovarian cancer is vastly more optimistic, which stresses the importance of detection of the disease at the earliest possible point. Unfortunately, the current standard detection method is inadequate at detecting early stages of ovarian cancer, and new methods of detection are therefore needed.

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a canonical cellular mechanism that regulates faulty mRNAs and targets them for degradation. However, drug induced inhibition of NMD forces the cell to produce large amounts of aberrant proteins that are not normally present. These proteins may be novel biomarkers of ovarian cancer, and may be utilized in detection of early stages of the disease.

2017 Winner for Professional Research and Creative Activities

2017 winnersAlisha White, Department of English - Creative Responses About the College Experiences of Students with Disabilities

Description: This poster presentation illustrated early analysis of my qualitative study investigating the experiences of students with disabilities at Western Illinois University. WIU prides itself on fostering an environment that supports diversity in our community, as stated in the discrimination policy and related documents. One aspect of diversity often overlooked on college campuses is disability status (Davis, 2011); however, WIU has multiple entities to ensure equitable access, (see offices and organizations: EOA, DRC, UDC, ADA Advisory, FASPAS, and SUI). While WIU is pursuing avenues to providing access to the university, I wanted to know what may still be overlooked, particularly for our students. My goal is to provide evidence of areas in which the university is succeeding and identify areas that need improvement in supporting this population of students.