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OSU Center for Health Sciences News

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Construction nearing completion on temporary parking, new west lot

CHS Map, Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Crews working on a temporary parking lot on the northeast corner of campus and a new parking lot on the west side of campus expect construction to be completed soon.

The temporary lot can be accessed via Lot C from the east. An access road has also been added connecting Lots B and C. Bumpers will be in place to mark parking lanes in the temporary lot.

Once the new parking areas are open, Lot A and part of Lot B will close. Crews will place fencing around the construction site for the new A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building and the adjoining parking garage. The campus entrance off Southwest Boulevard will also be closed until construction is completed. Access to the west parking lot will be available from 17th Street.

Research Spotlight: Researcher working to save rare, endangered zoo animals


An OSU-CHS researcher is developing an inexpensive diagnostic test to help zoos protect their animals from a deadly virus.

Earl Blewett, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, is targeting the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), a common infection that can kill elephants, hippos, primates and other zoological animals throughout the country. The virus is spread by rodents that contaminate the zoological animals’ food, he said.

Current diagnostic tests are less expensive than vaccines but can be financially burdensome for organizations that typically are nonprofit.

“Zoos are really strapped for money, so vaccination is an expensive proposition,” Blewett said. “If we can assist zoos in maintaining the health of their animals in a way that is affordable and efficient, we can help preserve the last refuge for many of the world’s animal species.”

Blewett is working to develop an inexpensive diagnostic test that could determine if the virus is present among rodents at the zoo.

“If the rodents show EMCV infection, zoos should realize the potential is there to infect their zoological animals and that they need to vaccinate,” he said.

To watch a video of Blewett explaining his research, visit the Research Spotlight website. To read the full story about his research, visit the OSU-CHS website.

Summer undergraduate interns conduct research under faculty guidance

Zinar Simsek, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Northeastern State University, uses a microscope in an OSU-CHS lab as part of his summer research internship.
Zinar Simsek, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Northeastern State University, uses a microscope in an OSU-CHS lab as part of his summer research internship.

OSU-CHS is hosting seven undergraduate students as research interns this summer as part of the Oklahoma IDEA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program.

Undergraduates are from several area institutions, including Rogers State University, Tulsa Community College and Northeastern State University. Each is paired with an OSU-CHS researcher, who mentors and guides students in undergoing a two-month-long research project. The students present their findings at the end of the internship.

Faculty researchers include Franklin Champlain, Ph.D., Kathleen Curtis, Ph.D., Randall Davis, Ph.D., Rashmi Kaul, Ph.D., Gerwald Köhler, Ph.D., Al Rouch, Ph.D., David Wallace, Ph.D. and Nedra Wilson, Ph.D.

INBRE is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

High school students headed to campus for summer research internship

OK Stars
Several high school students participated in the OKstars summer research internship program last year.

About 30 high school students from across Oklahoma will soon arrive on campus for a six-week summer research internship with OSU-CHS faculty and graduate students.

The 2015 Oklahoma Science Training and Research Students program, or OKstars, and Native OKstars for high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled members of a federally recognized American Indian tribe, will kick off Tuesday with a special welcome and orientation session.

Each student will be matched with a faculty mentor and research team and will conduct scientific studies in biology, anatomy, forensics and other disciplines.

Students will come from several area districts, including Bartlesville, Grove, Union, Jenks, Owasso, Bishop Kelly, Holland Hall, Edmond Deer Creek, Oklahoma City’s Casady, Henryetta and more. They will meet as a group once each week.

Students will be invited to present their research at OSU in Tulsa Research Day and the City of Tulsa Research Day. The program is geared toward high school students interested in pursuing a career in science.