(April 5, 2013)

Centenary and LSU Health renew joint undergraduate research program

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College and LSU Health Shreveport have renewed the Centenary and LSU: Leaders for Undergraduate Learning and Research (CELLULAR) Program. The CELLULAR Program enables Centenary students to work on research projects with LSU Health faculty members while earning academic credit.

example image alternative text
Brandon McRae presenting at this year's SfN meeting

"The CELLULAR Program provides Centenary students with the opportunity to experience research first hand," said Dr. Greg Butcher, Centenary Associate Professor of Neuroscience. "For some students, this initial exposure to research develops into a multi-semester project that ultimately results in presentations at national scientific meetings. This level of involvement is rare among undergraduates nationally and further distinguishes Centenary students when they apply to graduate or medical programs."

Centenary's natural science faculty overwhelmingly voted to renew the program this year. Through CELLULAR, students are able to contribute to current scientific research while learning about the process of discovery by working directly with investigators.

Among the requirements to enter the program, students must be recommended for participation by two Centenary natural science faculty members. Junior Brandon McRae, a double neuroscience and biology major, values the experience he has gained from participating in CELLULAR.

"This lab experience taught me how to balance school work with lab work and how graduate life might be," said McRae. "I also have presented the work I did in LSU's lab at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this past October and will present at the annual Centenary Research Forum next week."

Under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Hamilton, McRae tried to identify a marker that could be used for labeling of immature olfactory sensory neurons in mice.

The CELLULAR Program gives LSU Health faculty members direct access to motivated, interested science students, who desire a career in research or medicine.

The 22nd annual Centenary Student Research Forum will take place April 12 and 19. Centenary students will present original research in either oral or poster presentations.