Fralin Life Science Institute summer fellows research topics like infectious disease

Thomas Esson of Wells, Maine, a major in wildlife science monitored the movements of Red Wolves along US-Route 64 in North Carolina.

Thomas Esson of Wells, Maine, a major in wildlife science monitored the movements of Red Wolves along US-Route 64 in North Carolina.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 24, 2009 – Thirteen Virginia Tech students concluded their 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) on Aug. 6 by presenting results on projects that addressed such topics as improving nutrition for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, gender differences in arterial destiffening with weight loss, and the home range of red wolves in North Carolina.

The Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech offers the fellowships to rising Virginia Tech sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) who wish to pursue life sciences research full-time during the summer, said SURF program coordinator Brenda Davy, associate professor in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "Applicants must submit a research proposal for their experience and provide a letter of support from a faculty member who is willing to serve as their mentor," Davy said.

The 13 students were selected based upon a competitive process from among 30 applicants. The students are:

Biochemistry majors

Biological sciences majors are

Students from other majors are

The Fralin Life Science Institute provides leadership in the life sciences through the support of faculty and student research and outreach. An interdisciplinary research institute, Fralin brings scientists from different disciplines together under one umbrella to solve some of biology's more complex challenges. Fralin is continuing its legacy of leadership in the development and support of scientific minds from pre-college through undergraduate and graduate education to collegiate faculty, as well as supporting the creation of successful scientific teams throughout the university.