University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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April 23, 2004

UW-RF Students Participate in 'Posters in the Rotunda'

What do an analysis of the coverage of the 2000 presidential debates, capsaicin, studying abroad and cellular architecture have in common? They are all subjects of research by UW-River Falls students.

Nine UW-RF students will present their research findings at "Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research" April 27 in the State Capitol rotunda in Madison. Students and faculty from 15 UW campuses will share their research findings with state elected officials, federal research representatives and members of the public. Some 100 students are presenting.

On April 28, eight of them will also participate in a system-wide research poster display activity at UW-Oshkosh.

UW System President Katharine C. Lyall said undergraduate research is an important component in the education of UW students.

"We hope a lot of visitors will come through the Capitol to see how undergraduate research in the UW System benefits our society, as well as our students," Lyall said.

The UW-RF students going to Madison and the titles of their posters are as follows: Physics major Jonathan Eisch of Wisconsin Rapids, "Detecting Cosmic Rays at the South Pole"; biology major Greg Walter of Emerald, "Determination of the Presence of Plasmid-Borne LmPtl Genes in Phenol-Degrading Bacteria"; political science major Katie Kneissel of Savage, Minn., "Content Analysis of the New York Times and Washington Post's coverage of the 2000 Presidential Debates"; biology major Sarah Schimmel of Pickett, "Induction of Dendritic Cell Phenotype and Analysis of HIV Co-Receptors in a Cultured White Blood Cell Line"; chemistry major Sarah Barfknecht of Embarrass, Minn., "Design and Synthesis of New Compounds Based on Capsaicin-Arachidonoyl Dopamine: Potential Analgesic Agents"; biology major Kathryn J. Clay of Reedsburg, "Political Influence on Students Studying Abroad in the Dalkeith House"; biology major Michael Salmela of Duluth, Minn., "Microtubule cytoskeletal changes observed during retroviral envelope protein mediated syncytial cell formation"; biology major Curtis Thacker of River Falls and Salmela, "Observations from syncytial cell formation provide evidence in support of the 'tensegrity' model of cellular structure"; and biology major Emily Genal of Green Bay, "Application of immunoassay techniques to address the question of retroviral envelope protein immuno-crossreactivity."

Salmela is also a featured speaker at the event. He will talk about how undergraduate research is important to him and how it is valuable to students. The students, with the exception of Salmela, will also present their research findings April 28 at the fifth annual UW System Symposium on Undergraduate Research at UW-Oshkosh.

The keynote speaker will be Cora Marrett, the UW System senior vice president for academic affairs.

For more information, contact Director of Grants and Research Bill Campbell at 715/425-3195 or visit


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