Undergraduate Researchers Present Work in Energy, Medicine, Sustainability at Science2009—Unplugged

Issue Date: 
October 12, 2009

The University of Pittsburgh’s annual celebration of science and technology has a new addition this year—undergraduate researchers.

As part of Science2009—Unplugged, more than 75 undergraduates will display research on topics ranging from traumatic brain injuries to energy solutions, from Type 2 diabetes to regional water quality. The Undergraduate Poster Reception will be held Oct. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall’s J.W. Connolly Ballroom.

“Under the guidance of faculty mentors, our undergraduates are engaged in cutting-edge research that seeks to find solutions to our contemporary needs in energy, medicine, and sustainability.  This inaugural event provides an opportunity for these engineering and science students to share sophisticated and impressive research with the University community,” said George Klinzing, Pitt vice provost for research.

Science2009—Unplugged is the University’s ninth annual celebration of science and technology. The Oct. 15-16 event in Alumni Hall will feature science presentations by some of Pittsburgh’s leading researchers as well as keynote lectures by distinguished guest scientists. Admission to all Science2009 events is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Additional information on Science2009’s events can be found at www.science2009.pitt.edu/.

The opportunity for Pitt undergraduates to engage in research is a defining strength of the University, according to Patricia Beeson, vice provost for graduate and undergraduate studies. “This new event is exciting because it showcases both the work of our undergraduates and of faculty members who are helping to train a next generation of researchers and assisting students in acquiring the necessary skills for successful careers,” she said.

Undergraduates from Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, the Swanson School of Engineering, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Honors College will be presenting at the event.

A sampling of faculty-mentored undergraduate projects include pursuing a solution to climate change by investigating CO2 storage; aiming to improve clinical trials by understanding patient experience; identifying a primary cause of preterm labor to combat neonatal mortality; seeking new tuberculosis medications to treat drug-resistant strains of the disease; investigating how to protect the habitats of native plant and animal species; and striving to improve care of breast cancer patients by examining quality of life.