Student Success - Groundbreaking Research
Martika Harper, a rising senior biology major at Winston-Salem State University, is participating in a first-of-its-kind summer research program for college undergraduate students interested in conducting cutting-edge nanobiotechnology research.
Harper was one of 10 students selected for the nine-week program called "Development of Safe Nanomaterials for Biological Application" being held at Alabama State University in Montgomery. The inaugural three-year program is being funded by a $336,634 grant from the National Science Foundation. Participating students receive a stipend, housing, meal and travel allowances.
"There are about 10 different research projects dealing with nanomaterials being conducted this summer," said Harper. "My particular project deals with the bacteria streptococcus pneumonia that can cause a plethora of infections as well as complications in the lungs. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to the bacteria because of their underdeveloped or low immune systems. During the summer, I’ll be developing gold and silver nanoparticles to see if they can be used as antimicrobial agents that can inhibit the growth of the bacteria."
The program is designed to give students from across the nation hands-on experience in experimental research. This year, students participating in the program are of diverse backgrounds from several southeastern colleges and universities including Auburn University, Savannah State University and Southern University.