Student researchers present their work at symposium

Buies Creek, N.C. – The Wiggins Memorial Library became a living classroom on Tuesday, April 26, as a number of Campbell student researchers presented their findings at the inaugural Wiggins Memorial Academic Symposium.

The goal of the symposium, which is slated to become a yearly event, is to allow students nominated by their professors to share what they’ve learned about topics ranging anywhere from science to literature, said Borree Kwok, dean of the Wiggins Memorial Library.

In the library rotunda, senior biochemistry and biology major Jacob Keaton tells onlookers about the possible discovery of a new species of violet on the Island of Maui and how his research team, funded by a Campbell University Faculty Summer Research grant, used morphometric analysis and DNA sequencing to determine this discovery.

Senior Priyanka Patel, also a bio-chemistry major, discussed her research, “The Effect of Lead Acetate on the Early Development of Zebra Fish.” Patel observed zebra fish embryos which had been exposed to lead acetate for melanin pigmentation, heartbeat, hatching and mortality. She discovered that exposure to lead acetate increases the presence of melanin pigmentation, melanocytes numbers and melanin content in the zebra fish. Better understanding of the alterations caused by lead exposure may help scientists to understand defects that occur during cell fate determination, Patel said.

A total of 21 students participated in the event, which featured presentations in 30 minute sessions from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“The Symposium featured an impressive array of research and studies conducted by our students,” Kwok said. “It was a very rewarding day for everyone who came to hear their presentations. These students make us proud.”

Photo Copy: Jacob Keaton informs listeners about the possible discovery of a new species of violet, a result of research conducted by his team.

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