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Summer research funding gives students opportunity to grow in field

April 3, 2014


By Tara Harris

Cleveland State’s Office of Research has announced $249,838 in awards for funding summer research projects. Sixty-eight students will receive full funding for research in the summer 2014.

The purpose of the summer research award program is to allow students the opportunity to become involved in research and foster a unique learning experience and mentoring with a faculty member.

There are a wide range of research topics available, including, security of smartphone communications, fun versus practical: physiological responses and preference of exercise equipments, a content analysis of the little cigars and cigarillos social media milieu and fabrication and characterization of cell membrane mimetic system.

The awards are shared among the different colleges within Cleveland State. CLASS has six research projects funded, the College of Engineering has eight and the College of Science has 14. Some allow for one person to work on a topic while others require two or more students to work on a single project.

Five faculty members in the chemistry department were awarded research funds to work with their students, including chemistry professor Dr. Anthony Berdis.

The purpose of the award program is to help students achieve their career goals by gaining experience and those interested in research should apply, he said.
“The program involves the usage of real world applications and is challenging,” said Berdis.

The mission in the chemistry department is to not only teach in the classroom but also in research labs as well. The research awards allow for that opportunity. The research topics range from chemistry, biochemistry and drug discovery.

Faculty members provide support as they to work alongside undergraduate students.
“I’m excited about helping undergraduates become engaged in learning and valuable opportunities,” Berdis said.

The research award program is also an opportunity for students to make some money in the summer as there is a stipend awarded to students involved in the program.

The chemistry department at Cleveland State has also made a positive impact in the community at the Meeting in Miniature, a research conference held
at Baldwin Wallace that was hosted by The American cancer Society.

The event invited Cleveland State and other research active universities in the surrounding area, including Notre Dame, John Carroll, the University of Akron and a few others. The majority of students in attendance were from Cleveland State.

Students presented research they conducted at the meeting. Eight awards were given to students with the best research.

Three Cleveland State chemistry students won awards.

Tiyash Bose, a graduate student, who composed a report on “Ruthenium oxide based combined electrodes as nitric oxide sensors: towards measuring NO in cystic fibrosis”.

Pratima Vabbilisetty, a graduate student, researched “Cell surface re-engineering via efficient lipid anchoring into cell membranes”.

And Seol Casey Kim, an undergraduate student of Berdis whose report was titled, Non-Natural Nucleosides as Chemotherapeutic Agents Against Pediatric Brain Cancers”.