Nov. 5, 2022
8:00 am  -  3:30 pm ET

West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference

The annual West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science (WMRUGS) Research Conference provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to present their own research to a large and supportive group of professional scientists. Attendees will also hear stimulating talks on current topics in biology, chemistry, computer sciences, environmental sciences, math, neuroscience, physics, psychology and more. The research conference includes a keynote speaker, research posters presented by undergraduate students, Graduate school recruiters/representatives will be on hand to discuss opportunities with their institutions and internship/employment recruiters will be available to discuss opportunities with their organizations.

2022 WMRUGS Research Conference (downloadable file)

The registration deadline for the 2022 WMRUGS Research Conference has passed. No walk-ins on the day of the event.

Have questions on preparing for the upcoming WMRUGS Research Conference on Sat., Nov. 5?

Email Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.edu.

Organizing Committee

Jennifer Hess, Ph.D. (Aquinas College)
Keith Grasman, Ph.D. (Calvin University)
Eric Nybo, Ph.D. (Ferris State University-College of Pharmacy)
Mark Staves, Ph.D. (Grand Valley State University)
Dwight Williams, Ph.D. (Kalamazoo College)
Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed, Ph.D. (Hope College)
Heidi Lempradl, Ph.D. (Van Andel Institute Graduate School)

Presidential Professor & Director for Advancement of Women in Natural Sciences and Professor of Chemistry, University of North Florida

Thesis: Uncovering the functionality of a PD risk-SNP at the SNCA locus in microglia
Mentor: Gerhard (Gerry) Coetzee, Ph.D
Undergraduate University: Michigan State University  |  B.S. in Animal Science
Master’s University: Grand Valley State University  |  M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology

Undergraduate University:
Aquinas College

Undergraduate University:
Calvin University

Undergraduate University:
Ferris State University-College of Pharmacy

Undergraduate University:
Grand Valley State University

Undergraduate University:
Hope College

Undergraduate University:
Kalamazoo College

Board dimensions are 60” W x 40” H and printed posters should be no larger than those dimensions. Push pins will be provided for your posters. DO NOT use poster puddy on the boards per the request of Van Andel Institute’s Office of the Chief Scientific Officer. Even-numbered posters will present from 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM. Odd-numbered posters will present from 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM. Posters are not judged. To present a poster at WMRUGS, presenters must satisfy the following two criteria:

  1. Be currently enrolled in a science/research degree program as a:
    • Community college student
    • Undergraduate college student
    • Formalized program for a post-baccalaureate student
    • Terminal level master’s student
    • Medical student
  1. Have conducted research, used experimental methods and developed results in one of the following scientific disciplines:
    •  Astronomy
    • Biochemistry
    • Bioinformatics
    • Biology
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Biostatistics
    • Biotechnology
    • Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computational Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Ecology and Evolution
    • Engineering
    • Environmental Science
    • Forensic Biology
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • Immunology
    • Mathematics
    • Microbiology
    • Molecular Biotechnology
    • Neuroscience
    • Nursing
    • Pharmacology
    • Physics
    • Physiology
    • Psychology

West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference

Saturday, November 5, 2022

7:30 am 

Doors Open

8:00 am 

Arrival and Poster Setup | Recruiter Arrival and Setup

8:15 am  - 9:15 am

Fair

Meet with recruiters including internship & employment, graduate school, professional schools and medical school recruiters in VAI Lobby.

9:15 am 

Welcome | Opening Remarks

9:30 am 

Keynote Address: Amy Lane, Ph.D.

Presidential Professor & Director for Advancement, Women in Natural Sciences; Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of North Florida

Amy Lane, Ph.D.

Unleashing the potential of marine microorganisms as synthetic chemists

10:15 am 

Poster Session 1

Presenters at even-numbered posters.

10:15 am  - 11:15 am

Fair

Meet with recruiters including internship & employment, graduate school, professional schools and medical school recruiters in the VAI Lobby.

11:30 am  - 12:00 pm

Graduate Student Scientific Research Talk

Van Andel Institute Graduate School – PhD Candidate

Alix Booms, Van Andel Institute Graduate School – PhD Candidate
Parkinson’s disease genetic risk in microglia

12:00 pm  - 12:30 pm

Undergraduate Student Scientific Research Talk

Michelle Thompson, Aquinas College
Analysis of macrophage cell death in response to diverse Group B streptococcus (GBS) isolates

Jessica Eddy, Calvin University
Intestinal endothelial cells promote HIV-1 infection in resting CD4+ T-cells through an integrin dependent manner in conjunction with IL-6

12:30 pm 

Lunch

12:30 pm  - 2:30 pm

Fair

Meet with recruiters including internship & employment, graduate school, professional schools and medical school recruiters in VAI Lobby.

1:15 pm 

Poster Session 2

Presenters at odd-numbered posters

2:30 pm  - 3:30 pm

Undergraduate Student Scientific Research Talk

Kyah Birdsall, Ferris State University-College of Pharmacy
Antiproliferative effect of tetracenomycins on human cancer cells

Mary Fergus, Grand Valley State University
Exploring cross-class inhibition of key antibiotic resistance targets in the multidrug resistant pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii

Anna Koppin, Hope College
Characterization of select lysine mutations of the cystine/glutamate transporter, system xc

Maxwell Rhames, Kalamazoo College
Synthesis and characterization of Schiff-base ligands and manganese coordination complexes

3:30 pm 

Closing Remarks | Conclusion

INTERNSHIP & EMPLOYMENT RECRUITERS/REPRESENTATIVES

Gentex Corporation
Chris Pollack, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Email: hr@gentex.com
Zach Erno, Research and Development Manager
Email: hr@gentex.com
Kurtis Geerlings, Director of Research & Development
Email: hr@gentex.com
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Application Deadlines: There are rolling job opportunities as positions become available
Website: http://www.gentex.com/
Career Website: https://gentex.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/Gentex

Pfizer Incorporated
Allison Hurt, Scientist – Genetics
Email: allison.hurt@pfizer.com
Jana Deering, Director of Process Development
Email: jana.deering@pfizer.com
Christopher Kemp, Senior Scientist – Genetics
Email: christopher.kemp@pfizer.com
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 3:30 PM
Application Deadlines: There are rolling job opportunities as positions become available
Website: https://www.pfizer.com/pgs-kalamazoo-mi

Van Andel Institute
Michelle Love, Internship Coordinator/Senior Administrative Assistant
Email: undergrad@vai.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 4:00 PM
Undergraduate: 2023 Summer Internship Program Application Process: December 1, 2022 – February 1, 2023
Medical: 2023 Summer Internship Program Application Process: December 1, 2022 – March 1, 2023
Research Internship Website: http://www.vai.org/graduate-school/research-internships/
Careers Website: https://www.vai.org/careers/
Application links available December 1, 2022: https://jobs.silkroad.com/vai/VAICareerSite

GRADUATE SCHOOL, PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL AND MEDICAL SCHOOL RECRUITERS/REPRESENTATIVES

Ferris State University
Dr. Stephen Durst, Dean – College of Pharmacy, Dean’s Office
Email: dursts@ferris.edu
Dr. Rodney Larson, Assistant Dean for Academics and Admissions
Email: Rodneylarson@ferris.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Dr. Stephen Durst: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM  |  Dr. Eric Nybo: 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Preferred Application Deadline: October 1  |  Regular Application Deadline: April 1
Website: https://www.ferris.edu/pharmacy/
Application Link: https://www.ferris.edu/pharmacy/admissions/apply.htm

Indiana University School of Medicine, Biomedical Grad Programs
Britney Hieser, Assistant Director of IBMG Program for PhD Study
Email: biomed@iupui.edu
Brandy S. Wood, Director of Graduate Programs & Student Success
Email: biomed@iupui.edu
Richard Nass, PhD – Program Director, Translation Toxicology
Email ricnass@iupui.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM
Priority Deadline: December 1, 2022 | Final Deadline: January 2, 2023
Application Link: https://go.iu.edu/ApplyIBMG

Ohio State University, The
Franci Brink, OSBP Program Manager
Email: osbp@osu.edu
Mido Aly, Neuroscience Program Manager
Email: ngsp@osu.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 3:30 PM
Application Deadline: December 1, 2022
Application Link: https://osbp.osu.edu/admissions

Purdue University – Interdisciplinary Life Science Program (PULSe)
Lindsey Springer, Graduate Program Specialist – PULSe
Email Address: lbcampbe@purdue.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM
Application Deadline: December 1, 2022
Application Link: https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/pulse/admission.html

Van Andel Institute Graduate School
Christy Mayo, Director of Enrollment and Records
Email: registrar@vai.edu OR christy.mayo@vai.edu
Availability on Saturday, November 5, 2022: 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM
VAIGS Application Deadline: December 1, 2022
Website: https://www.vai.org/graduate-school/admissions/
Application Link: https://biomedcas2023.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login

Looking for accommodations? Here are some close suggestions in the Downtown Grand Rapids area:

Amway Grand Plaza – Downtown Grand Rapids
187 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Directions to Amway Grand Plaza: https://amwaygrand.com/contact/directions
Telephone: 616.774.2000  |  Email Address: frontdesk@ahchospitality.com
Website: http://amwaygrand.com/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.5 miles  |  3-minutes

JW Marriott – Downtown Grand Rapids
235 Louis Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Directions to JW Marriott: 42°57’55.7″N 85°40’25.2″W – Google Maps
Telephone: 616.242.1500
Website: http://ilovethejw.com/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.7 miles  |  4-minutes

City Flats Hotel – Downtown Grand Rapids
83 Monroe Center Street, NW
Grand Rapids MI 49503
Click HERE for directions to City Flats Hotel
Telephone: 844.550.2489  |  Contact Us: https://cityflatshotel.com/get-in-touch/
Website: https://cityflatshotel.com/location/grand-rapids/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.60 miles  |  3-minutes

Holiday Inn – Downtown Grand Rapids
310 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Click HERE for directions to the Holiday Inn
Telephone: 616.235.7611
Website: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/grand-rapids/grrpe/hoteldetail
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.8 miles  |  4-minutes

Marriott Courtyard Plaza – Downtown Grand Rapids
11 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Directions to Marriott Courtyard Plaza: 42°57’48.1″N 85°40’24.0″W – Google Maps
Telephone: 616.242.6000
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/grrdt-courtyard-grand-rapids-downtown/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.8 miles  |  4-minutes

AC Hotel – Downtown Grand Rapids
50 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Directions to the AC Hotel: 42°57’51.8″N 85°40’19.5″W – Google Maps
Telephone: 616.776.3200
Website: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/grrar-ac-hotel-grand-rapids-downtown/overview/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute (via car): 0.7 miles  |  4-minutes

Embassy Suites by Hilton – Downtown Grand Rapids
710 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapid, MI 49503
Click HERE for directions to Embassy Suites by Hilton
Telephone: 616.512.5700
Website: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/grrmaes-embassy-suites-grand-rapids-downtown/
Distance to and from Van Andel Institute: 0.7 miles  |  3-minutes

2022 WMRUGS Parking and Getting to VAI (downloadable file)

FREE parking will be available on the day of the conference for registered attendees and recruiters. WMRUGS Research Conference attendees and recruiters will park at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) parking ramp B and then walk north on Bostwick Avenue to Van Andel Institute (VAI). The parking ramp is south of VAI and is less than a five-minute walk to 333 Bostwick Avenue/Grand Rapids MI 49503. When entering parking ramp B, conference attendees will need to take a GRCC parking pass. There are seven levels and over 300 parking spaces available for conference attendees and recruiters.

Validated Parking Passes: Validated parking passes are available for pick up at the WMRUGS information table. Please pick up validated parking passes from the information desk during the lunch period from 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm or after the conference has ended at 3:30 pm.

Exit/Departure: When exiting the GRCC parking ramp B, follow the instructions at the parking gate for inserting the parking passes: Insert the entrance parking pass first and then the validated parking pass. The validated parking passes are only valid until 5:30 pm the day of the event.

If you need special accommodations for attending this event (i.e. parking or entering the building), contact Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.edu.

Event Details

Venue: Van Andel Institute 333 Bostwick Ave. NE Grand Rapids

Contact Info:

Email: Michelle Love

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