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Wesley Students Attend Posters on the Hill
Students Ghada J. Alabed and Jordan M. Wheatley with State Representative Mike Castle, Professor of Chemistry Dr. Malcolm D’Souza and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Patricia Dwyer
Wesley students Ghada J. Alabed and Jordan M. Wheatley attended the 14th Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) Posters on the Hill Event in Washington D.C. April 12-13 to showcase posters exhibiting their research, which has helped to create a searchable database of FDA approved chemotherapy drugs.
“It was the best,” said Alabed. “We went to see the senators, sat in on a hearing, and we both received an award of merit.”
Alabed and Wheatley, both biology majors who graduated this May, have created a structure-based searchable database for chemotherapy drugs using the data system KnowItAll, under the direction of Dr. Malcolm J. D’Souza, professor of chemistry. This project is one of approximately 60 competitively chosen from across the U.S. presented at the event. The event hosted 75 undergraduate participants, some posters yielding a dual partnership. Wesley was the only participant from Delaware.
At the conference, the participants from Wesley met with Delaware Senators Carper and Kaufmann and Delaware Representative Castle. During the poster session, Alabed and Wheatley were even congratulated by President of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Dr. Joseph S. Francisco. D’Souza, Dr. Patricia M. Dwyer, vice president of academic affairs and Wesley Alumni Board member Chad Robinson '05 attended the event along with the students.
“It was awesome,” said D’Souza. “We were recognized at a Senate hearing chaired by Senator Carper and soon you should be seeing us on CSPAN.”
In 2008, a student-poster from the D’Souza's research group was also selected, making it the first time that an undergraduate poster from the state of Delaware was ever chosen for these annual CUR events, a huge step for the Delaware science program that has paved the way for these two new presenters.
“This is an important event that will help members of Congress understand the importance of undergraduate research by talking directly with the students that are directly impacted by these programs,” Nancy Hensel, spokesperson for the CUR, said.
This research at Wesley is supported by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The network of Biomedical Research (INBRE) grant to the state of Delaware was obtained under the leadership of the University of Delaware, and has helped the Wesley program to further its capabilities by helping students to obtain the resources necessary to aid their research projects and become well recognized within the science community.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Patricia Dwyer, student Ghada J. Alabed, President of the American Chemical Society Joseph Francisco, student Jordan M. Wheatley and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Malcolm D’Souza