Bethany College Students Team with State’s Leading Biomedical Scientists in Summer Research Program


BETHANY, W.Va. — Four Bethany College students helped advance the field of biomedical research by participating in the 2010 West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) Summer Research Program, funded through the National Institutes of Health.

A competitive program, WV-INBRE gives qualified students from undergraduate institutions the opportunity to conduct research in several biomedical areas under the mentorship of scientists at Marshall University and West Virginia University (WVU). By being exposed to high-quality research programs and presenting the results of their work through poster and oral presentations at an end-of-program symposium, participants gain hands-on experience and valuable insight into a variety of potential career paths.


Senior biology major Gabriella Casinelli of Follansbee, W.Va., worked with Dr. Brad Hillgartner of WVU. Senior biology major Sara Drews of Centreville, Md., was mentored by Dr. Robert Goodman of WVU. Senior chemistry major Christopher Smurthwaite of Wellsburg, W.Va., conducted research with Dr. Gary Rankin of Marshall University, and senior chemistry major Lindsay Sobotka of Weirton, W.Va., worked with Dr. Beverly Delidow of Marshall University.

This was Casinelli's second year to intern with the WV-INBRE program.

8034Drews.jpgIn addition to laboratory work, students participated in seminars on chemical, animal and radiation safety and life as a graduate student, as well as workshops dealing with their particular biomedical research interests, including new cancer drugs.

7291Sobotka.jpg“The WV-INBRE program is a wonderful opportunity that provides undergraduate students the opportunity to experience a laboratory setting in a larger institution,” Sobotka stated. “It allowed me to conduct valuable research that was of great interest to me while improving my research techniques and allowing me to meet wonderful people. This program definitely strengthens the interests in biomedical research across the state."

7705Smuthwaite.jpgSmurthwaite commented, “The West Virginia INBRE Summer Research Program has been both a rewarding and enriching experience. Throughout the summer, I have had opportunities to learn and perform techniques that I otherwise wouldn’t.” He continued, “My mentor and the students who worked alongside me in lab were both welcoming and helpful in every aspect of the research process. I would highly recommend this internship to any student wishing to further his or her research skills in a professional, high-tech atmosphere.”

Bethany’s WV-INBRE summer research participants will also have the opportunity to share their research at this fall’s annual INBRE presentation.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.