VCU Honors College

Research Opportunities

Featured students

Research projects

The following students are just a few of the previous participants of the Honors Summer Undergraduate Program. Read their stories, and gain a little more insight into what you can get out of the experience of taking part in this amazing opportunity.

Sathya Areti

Name:
Sathya Areti

Hometown:
Richmond, Va.

Major:
Biology and Psychology

Description of research:
“I worked on a research study investigating the clinical outcomes in Bone Marrow Transplant Patients.”


What did you take away?

“From this experience, I learned a lot about the significance of consistency, background information, research procedures, data collection, and even personal traits such as perseverance and confidence.”

Delisa Clay

Name:
Delisa Clay

Hometown:
Henrico, Va.

Major:
Biology

Description of research:
Mechanical tension across junctional proteins in frogs.



What did you take away?

“During this program, not only did I have to opportunity to get hands on laboratory experience, I also formed great relationships with my mentors. Before starting my research, I was afraid because I had never done research in a lab before. My mentors and the amazing people that I had the opportunity to work with always reassured me that this was all a learning process which took a lot of the stress off. I'm very glad that I was given the opportunity to continue on with my research during the semester. “

Joshua  David

Name:
Joshua David

Hometown:
Mechanicsville, Va.

Major:
Chemistry, Biochemistry concentration

Description of research:
Investigation of laminin-γ2 domain III's role in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and pulmonary fibrosis.


What did you take away?

“I have a better understanding of the research process and how delicate and complex our lungs are.”

Stephanie Harrold

Name:
Stephanie Harrold

Hometown:
Wall, NJ

Major:
Forensic Chemistry

Description of research:
“My research this summer was with Dr. Ehrhardt in the Forensic Science department. I helped to create and analyze explosive residue from hypergolic mixtures. We analyzed the residues for trace metals in order to differentiate between different source reactants.”

What did you take away?
“ I learned a lot about working with others in a lab setting. I also learned about the time, planning, and effort that goes into organizing and working on a research project. This summer has given me an opportunity to explore something I am interested in, and gain skills that I will bring with me to my future career.”

Ritu  Pandey

Name:
Ritu Pandey

Hometown:
Bridgewater, NJ

Major:
Biology and Economics

Description of research:
“I used the Forced Swim Test on C57BL/6 mice as a screen for the antidepressant effects of the drug Ketamine. The mice I tested were injected with either the drug Ketamine or Vehicle (saline solution). Then I would place each mouse in a container filled with water from which there was no escape. At first the mice would swim around actively, however, they would eventually stop swimming and just make movements necessary to float. The lack of movement was thought to be ‘behavioral despair’ and thus increased mobility in the water was thought to be an exhibition of antidepressant effects.”

What did you take away?
“Working with live animals I learned a lot about how to properly handle them and inject them and I came to understand the importance of properly taking care of them. I also learned a lot about antidepressant activity and the various tests that can be used to examine the effects of antidepressants. Ultimately this experience showed me that research is the field I want to be in.”