Research ShowCASE draws hundreds to see student, faculty presentations


photo credit Mary Kate Macedonia / Observer

Attendants view nearly 600 presentations at CWRU’s annual Research ShowCASE spanning subject areas from basic and applied sciences to humanities.

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Last Friday, students and faculty had the chance to show the CWRU community their research at the CWRU Research ShowCASE, an event that took over the Veale Athletic Center with rows upon rows of presentation boards, posters and fancy attire. Graduate, professional and undergraduate students from CWRU, as well as several students from local high schools, were all welcome. A wide variety of topics were presented at the showcase.

In biomedical research, sophomore Mindy Amornwichet presented her research in which she tested a protein to deactivate Src kinase. Src kinase is a protein found in the human body that is important for cell division. However, when it isn’t regulated properly, the protein can cause adverse effects such as cancer. Amornwichet synthesized a protein called PTPN9, which can be used to regulate the kinase’s activation.

In engineering, sophomore Tyler Powell examined the properties of carbon nanotubes, polymer composites that are cheap, easy-to-make and extremely strong, but have a tendency to group together and lose their structural strength. Powell was able to use sound waves to separate the tubes through vibration, giving the group the strength of individual tubes.

Amornwichet and Powell were two of many presenters at the event. In total, nearly 600 presenters and 160 judges attended the event, with around 180 undergraduates participating. The range of represented subjects was substantial as well, including basic and applied sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, biomedical engineering, law and the humanities. Many undergraduates also presented their senior capstone projects at the showcase.

Winners will be announced soon. Presenters were judged by their respective departments based on their presentation skills, understanding of the material presented, quality of the visual aids and how novel or exciting the topic was. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top judged graduate, undergraduate and post-doctorate presenters in several different categories, as well as two audience-chosen presenters.