Funding from Kahn Family Foundation supports student summer research

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The Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences is supporting the research of five undergraduate students and eight medical students this summer through the Kahn Foundation Student Research Fellowship.

The fellowship pays students a stipend, as well as pays for their housing and supplies. It will also fund the work of faculty and the costs associated with sending the students to a scientific conference to present their research.

With the growth in neuroscience research at UNE, there has been an increase in the number of opportunities for undergraduate and medical student to conduct research during the summer. This has led to an increase in the need for funds to support students during these months and to assist with travel expenses for scientific meetings during the year.

Undergraduate students typically begin their research experience in their sophomore year, with the goal of conducting independent research and presenting their results at local and national conferences by their senior year. The opportunity for students to remain at UNE over the summer to focus on their research projects is critical to ensuring that they are able to attain this goal.

Research experience for medical students is also particularly important as students compete for residency programs. The optimal time for conducting research is between their first and second year of study. During this time, medical students work side-by-side with undergraduates in the laboratory. While learning together, the medical students also provide additional mentorship to the undergraduate students, many of whom would like to one day become physicians.

Faculty work closely with the students, providing training in research techniques and methods, and, perhaps even more importantly, provide guidance and mentorship.

The undergraduate award recipients this summer are Francesca Asmus (Neuroscience, '22), Tyler Vesey (Medical Biology, ’23), Jacob Hickey (Biological Sciences and Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies, ’21) Skylar McComas (Neuroscience, '22), and Peter K. Neufeld (Neuroscience, '22).

The graduate award recipients are Nora Connors (D.O. ’24), A.J. Graham (D.O. ’24), Paige Ahlholm (D.O. ’24), Aishwarya Ayyappan (D.O. ’24), Kimberly Drago (D.O. ’24), Siobhan Fennell (D.O. ’24), Daniel Gehan (D.O. ’24), and Maritza Nary (D.O. ’24).

The Kahn family’s involvement with UNE started when the family set up a program to bring speakers to the Biddeford Campus in the early 2000s, primarily to discuss medical topics and research.