Bethany Students Awarded Research Opportunities at WVU

BETHANY, W.Va. – Two Bethany College chemistry majors will participate in the WV-INBRE summer research program at West Virginia University.

Hailee Vizyak, a rising junior from Wellsburg, W.Va., will study the discovery of compounds to treat Parkinson’s disease and the delivery of therapeutic proteins with the use of nanoparticles.

Her adviser is Dr. Werner J. Geldenhuys from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the WVU School of Pharmacy.

Vizyak is on the biochemistry track with a minor in criminal justice. She came to Bethany intending to pursue forensic chemistry research but decided to broaden her interest after completing a research project on the analysis of drug microcrystalline structures with the use of microscopy techniques.

“I felt as though this internship would give me the opportunity to pursue biochemistry and drug development research, which both greatly have the ability to contribute to the medical field,” Vizyak said.

Danielle Williams, a rising senior from Sandy Lake, Pa., will be conducting cancer research with Dr. Lori Hazlehurst, professor in the WVU School of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and co-leader of the Alexander B. Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program at the WVU Cancer Institute.

“The experience I gain this summer will be my first time in a lab outside of Bethany,” Williams said. “It is the first summer I will be able to participate in a program due to COVID, so the experience will be very beneficial and will help my skills in the lab.”

The WV-INBRE summer research program is open to students enrolled full-time at primarily undergraduate institutions across the state. Selected students conduct research at either WVU or Marshall University on topics such as addiction; cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes; molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis; neuroscience and developmental biology; and toxicology and environmental health sciences.

The program runs from May 31 to July 26, and, at its conclusion, students will present the results of their research project at the WV-INBRE Summer Research Symposium.

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