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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

March 29, 2001
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations 218 726-8830
Professor Conrad Firling, UMD Department of Biology 218 726-7270

Two UMD Students Chosen to Present Scientific Research in Washington D.C.
Two of Only 60 from Throughout the U.S.

Two UMD students, Ryan Hankins and Shawn Lavelle were selected to present their scientific research poster in Washington D.C. on March 29 at the Council on Undergraduate Research's fifth annual "Undergraduate Research Posters on Capitol Hill". The two were selected for the honor by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), a national organization promoting research by undergraduate students. Only 60 students from across the United States were chosen to participate.

The poster session was held in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill, and was attended by members of Congress, administrators from the National Science Foundation, the national Institutes of Health, NASA, numerous scientific societies, and members of the scientific press.

Hankins' and Lavelle's research poster was focused on the topic of aluminum toxicity and its association with several bone diseases. Their study established a computer-based method to determine the extent of bone calcification in microscopic embryonic chick bone, demonstrating the damage occurring from acute aluminum toxicity. Their research was done under the direction of Professor Conrad Firling of the UMD Department of Biology.

Ryan Hankins is a UMD junior from Birchwood, Minnesota, majoring in computational mathematics. Shawn Lavelle is a UMD senior from Rochester, Minnesota, with majors in electrical & computer engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

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