Senior biology major Madeleine Morris represented A&M-Commerce in Austin on April 1 at Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. The biennial event allows Texas’ top student researchers to showcase their projects for Texas legislators and the public. Morris’ presentation was one of approximately 75 research projects displayed at the capitol from more than 50 colleges and universities in Texas. This year’s event was themed “Transforming Texas Through Undergraduate Research.”
Morris’ research project involves understanding how a specific form of aggressive blood cancer called erythroleukemia develops and progresses. According to Morris, current treatment options are unsuccessful, so patients with erythroleukemic blood cancer have median survival rates of only three months. Through her research, Morris is taking steps toward a better understanding of this type of blood cancer which could be used to develop effective treatment options.
Reflecting on her experience at Undergraduate Research Day, Morris said, “I greatly enjoyed being exposed to many different fields of research and witnessing the positive impact of undergraduate research. Overall, discussing research on a wide range of subjects with peers and presenting my research in representation of TAMUC was a fulfilling experience that reinforced my passion for research.”
Dr. Venu Cheriyath, A&M-Commerce biological and environmental sciences professor and Morris’ research advisor, explained that Undergraduate Research Day is important because it allows students to defend and discuss their research with peers which increases confidence and aids in students’ overall development.
Dr. Cheriyath emphasized that the event is also beneficial to A&M-Commerce. He said, “This is an opportunity for A&M-Commerce to exhibit and publicize the opportunities and training that we provide to our undergraduate students. I believe this will allow us to recruit top quality students to our academic programs and increase our footprint in research.”
After her May graduation, Morris plans to complete her research project for publication with Dr. Cheriyath while obtaining a master’s degree in biology at TAMUC.