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Boise State Fellow Receives Award at Research Conference

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 12:44 pm / August 24, 2016

Katie Yocham works with scientific instrumentation in the lab.

Katie Yocham

Ten Boise State students were awarded 2016 Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Fellowships. Julia Oxford, director of the Biomolecular Research Center, is principal investigator, and Don Warner, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is fellows coordinator. Fellows all participated in a 10-week mentored research experience, including participation in Boise State’s collaborative Summer Research Community (seminars and other group events), attending and presenting their research in posters at the 2016 Idaho Conference for Undergraduate Research at Boise State and the 2016 Idaho INBRE Research Conference at the University of Idaho.

Katie Yocham, a fellow working with Trevor Lujan and David Estrada in mechanical and biomedical engineering, won the faculty choice award at the Idaho INBRE Conference, beating out more than 100 competitors. Yocham’s project is a collaboration between Lujan and Estrada’s labs and Oxford’s staff in the Biomolecular Research Center.

Katie Yocham holds her award certificate.“Katie epitomizes the spirit of Boise State undergraduate research. Her natural scientific curiosity has enabled her to develop research skills typically found in senior-level graduate students,” said Estrada. “As an undergraduate researcher her efforts have benefited faculty across multiple departments. It was no surprise to learn her investigations into the mechanical properties of engineered musculoskeletal tissue resulted in the statewide faculty choice award. I’m excited to see what she does next.”

Eleven institutions attended the conference, including 110 undergraduates, 70 faculty and 28 staff.  In addition to Yocham’s award, two INBRE students from other institutions — but with Boise State connections — won first place and second place in the first-ever Fast Pitch Science competition, which is modeled after the popular Three-Minute Thesis competitions. All attendees including faculty, staff and students were invited to participate. Awards were based on audience voting.

Frank Gigray, an undergraduate student at the College of Idaho who was a Project Seed participant for two years at Boise State University, was awarded first place. Project Seed, funded by the American Chemical Society, allows high school students to participate in summer research and works collaboratively at Boise State with the INBRE summer program. Second place was awarded to Christian Keetch, an undergraduate student at Idaho State University whose INBRE Fellowship was at Boise State University under the mentorship of Raj Nagarajan in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Boise State University and the Idaho INBRE Program have supported Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Idaho each summer since 2002.

2016 Idaho INBRE Fellows at Boise State

  • Micah Buckmiller, physics. Mentored by Matt Ferguson. Home institution: Boise State
  • Kristina Chapman, biology. Mentored by Juliette Tinker. Home institution: Boise State
  • Jenny Fothergill, chemistry. Mentored by Owen McDougal. Home institution: Boise State
  • Lauren Hosek, chemistry. Mentored by Don Warner. Home institution: Boise State
  • Ashlee Kallenberger, biology. Mentored by Cheryl Jorcyk. Home institution: Boise State
  • Christian Keetch, chemistry. Mentored by Raj Nagarajan. Home institution: Idaho State
  • Nathan Lai, biology. Mentored by Brad Morrison. Home institution: Boise State
  • Esteban Palencia. Mentored by Eric Hayden. Home institution: Idaho State initially, now at Boise State
  • Justin Stadlbauer, materials science and engineering. Mentored by Kurtis Cantley. Home institution: Boise State
  • Katie Yocham, mechanical and biomedical engineering. Mentored by Trevor Lujan. Home institution: Boise State

2016 Project Seed, Don Warner, principal investigator

  • Noah Collingwood, chemistry. Mentored by Raj Nagarajan. Home institution: Renaissance High School.
  • Jayde Nielsen, chemistry. Mentored by Kevin Ausman. Home institution: Middleton High School
  • Andrea Nguyen, chemistry. Mentored by Jeunghoon Lee. Home institution: Capital High School
  • Anthony Phero, chemistry. Mentored by Ken Cornell. Home institution: Centennial High School
  • Emily Wade, chemistry. Mentored by Owen McDougal. Home institution: Vallivue High School

Idaho INBRE and the Boise State Biomolecular Research Center are supported by Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Grants P20GM103408 and P20GM10909