MSTC Seniors Capstone Research

On April 28, Dunbar hosted the annual Senior Symposium where seniors in the Math, Science and Technology Center (MSTC) had the chance to present their 360-hour Capstone research projects, which are a graduation requirement of the program.

Courtesy of Sunny Ghuneim
Senior Sunny Ghuneim conducted research under Dr. Bruce Webb in the Department of Entomology, determining whether or not a virus can be ingested to target of agricultural pests.

Students typically begin this process at the beginning of their junior year by seeking out a mentor at the University of Kentucky or another local institution. Every April, the seniors present their completed projects at the MSTC Senior Symposium.

“All my hard work on forming a project that can better society culminates in the symposium presentation where everyone can witness the diverse research that MSTC students have been conducting for the past year and a half,” senior Enio Kuvliev said. His project, titled Autotaxin-Derived Lysophosphatidic Acid as a Link between Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis, was conducted under Dr. Maria Kraemer in the Smyth/Morris Lab in the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Kentucky.

Senior Rohith Kesaraju conducted his research under Dr. Subbarao Bondada and was one of approximately 50 seniors to present. His project was titled “Role of Oxidative Stress in the Therapeutic Effects of ABT-199 in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia”.

“Having the opportunity to conduct research at UK has been one of the most important experiences in my time in public education. I have developed a passion for laboratory science and my work has paid off in creating a path to a career,” he said.

Courtesy of Shelby McCubbin
Senior Shelby McCubbin researched stigma towards smoking and non-smoking cancer patients among nursing students.

“Having the opportunity to conduct research at the collegiate level as a high school student is an amazing opportunity to see how my studies can be applied in the real world… It has inspired me to continue researching as an undergraduate,” Kuvliev said.

However, for many students, the senior symposium is not just another class requirement. It is a milestone in their education and a celebration of their work.

According to junior Radhika Sharma, “It was really fulfilling to see everyone’s hard work and what they’ve put over 360 hours of their lives into come together. I really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s research and [it] made me feel so proud of the work that my friends have done.”

Kesaraju said,”Sharing my work at symposium was not only amazing but also it was joyous in that I realized how far I had come as a student.”