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2011 Best Student Research Awards

First Place Honors

Simon Sarkisian, an M.S. candidate in the College of Pharmacy; G.E. Henry of Susquehanna University; K.L. Plante of URI and the V.A. Medical Center Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory in Providence; and D.C. Rowley of URI’s College of Pharmacy: “Inhibition of Bacterial Growth and Biofilm Production by Metabolites from Hypericum spp.”

The group received a certificate and a $600 prize.

Second Place Honors

Leanne Elder, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences: “Implications of Global Climate Change and Declining Oceanic Oxygen Levels for the Hyperiid Amphipod Phronima.”

She received a certificate and a $400 prize.

Third Place Honors

Anna Malek, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Oceanography: “Zoning for Offshore Development: Fisheries Ecosystem Dynamics in Rhode Island’s Coastal Waters.”

Miao Song, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Engineering: “Assessing the Tailgating Situation on Urban Rhode Island Highways and Potential Counter-tailgating Measures.”

Joseph Schrader, a B.S. candidate in the College of Pharmacy: “Synthesis, Purification, and In-Silico Modeling of Second Generation Anti-Epileptic Compounds.”

Each winner received a certificate and a $200 prize.

The Role of University Research and Innovation as a Driver of Economic Development

Research and innovation were spotlighted on April 13 at Discovery@URI, an event that showcased the intellectual productivity of students and faculty and demonstrated how their work can contribute to economic development.

The highlight of the program was a display of posters in the Carothers Library featuring 100 examples of the best scholarly and creative work being done in URI’s eight major academic units. The projects ranged from research on harvesting solar energy from roadway pavements to creating markets for sustainable technologies to determining how novel compounds fight epilepsy.

The event opened with a keynote presentation by Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, who examined the role of university research as a driver of economic development and how it fits into the state’s long-term growth plan. The address was followed by a panel discussion about how to translate research into jobs, start-up companies, and economic development.

“This is a signature event that demonstrates the level of exciting intellectual activity that is taking place here at URI,” said Nasser Zawia, dean of the Graduate School and coordinator of the event. “We hope it will stimulate collaboration across disciplines and with the business community around the region. It’s really a showcase for the big thinking that is taking place on campus.”

Participants in the panel discussion, moderated by Zawia, were Leslie Taito, CEO of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, Umberto Crenca, founding artistic director of AS220, and, Paul Hastings ’84, president of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals in Redwood, Cal., which developes therapeutics to target cancer stem cells.

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