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April 17, 2013

RSU Senior Selected for Biomedical Summer Research Program

Chelsea McDonald
Chelsea McDonald

Chelsea McDonald, a Rogers State University senior from Claremore, has been selected for the Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Undergraduate Summer Research Program. She is the first RSU student to be selected for this program.

The program will be hosted by University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center from May 22 through July 19.

McDonald has expressed an interest in medical neurology, specifically microbial isolating of halocins antibiotics released by halophiles. She will be paired with Dr. Rashmi Kaul, who is currently doing research with hormones and their effect on the immune system at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.

A medical/molecular biology major, McDonald not only has the opportunity to earn college credit, but will have all tuition and fees paid by the INBRE program.

"I couldn't have achieved this without all the willingness to help and encouragement from all my instructors," McDonald said.

"This has been such a humbling experience," said McDonald. "I consider myself a regular student and acceptance into the program came as a surprise."

A standout student, she has received the School of Mathematics, Science and Health Sciences' Outstanding Junior Award and she has made the President's Honor Roll. In addition, she is on the wait list for entrance to OSU Medical School. Outside of the classroom, McDonald finds time for community involvement as evidenced by her involvement as a volunteer in fundraising events.

OK-INBRE offers outstanding undergraduate students intensive, hands-on research opportunities in the laboratories of a select group of faculty mentors.

Dr. Abe Marrero, RSU department head and professor of psychology, described McDonald as and outstanding student who is "perceptive" and "render(s) answers and assignments that reflect well-conceived and well-reasoned thinking."

Oklahoma INBRE has hosted more than 210 students since 2001 to participate in summer research programs. At least twenty students will be selected for the summer research program for regional university undergraduates and at least fifteen students will be selected for the community college summer program. These students will be selected on a competitive basis.

"It was due to the strength of Chelsea's accomplishments that she was accepted," Marrero said.

For more information on the program, visit

-Written by RSU PR Intern Lindsay Bolt