Undergraduate, professional research shines in STAR Program

What: 2016 Summer STAR Poster Presentations

When: Thursday, July 21 from 10 a.m. – noon

Where: J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons Room GB 1120-D


When Peyton Marshall first joined Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence in the lab in May, she had only a foundational understanding of biology.

“She knew some of the basic concepts already,” said McGee-Lawrence, assistant professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy. “But she didn’t really have a biology background.”

An undergraduate physics major from Rhodes Colleges in Memphis, Tennessee, Marshall entered the Student Training and Research Program (STAR) in hopes of broadening her biomedical research experience. The STAR program, sponsored by The Graduate School at Augusta University, gives students from across the country the opportunity to work alongside researchers with similar interests.

Having previously conducted bone research, Marshall was paired with McGee-Lawrence – a prominent bone researcher – and together the two began working to design a project that would build on Marshall’s limited biological skillset.

McGee-Lawrence said working with undergraduate researchers in the STAR Program has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

“I, as well as many other researchers, have been really impressed with the caliber of students that come into this program,” she said. “It’s really fun to work with them. They come in with such great enthusiasm and drive to succeed.”

Having joined the Medical College of Georgia in August of 2014, McGee-Lawrence had the opportunity to work with a STAR student her first summer on campus, and she’s been a STAR mentor ever since. The relationships she’s built with students as a result have been mutually beneficial. Especially this semester.

“Peyton’s been fantastic,” McGee-Lawrence said. “It’s really fun to work with her. She’s done an incredible job and gathered some really great data.”

McGee-Lawrence said some of Marshall’s data, collected over the course of the summer program, was added to a recent grant submission and may help lead to additional funding for a much larger, long-term project.

While exceptional, McGee-Lawrence and Marshall’s research partnership is but one of many fostered by the STAR program this year. This summer, a total of 21 researchers from a number of departments opened their labs to and shared their research with undergraduate researchers.

To celebrate the accomplishments of all 2016 Summer STAR Program students, The Graduate School will host a 2016 Summer STAR Poster Presentation on Thursday, July 21 from 10 a.m. – noon in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons Room GB 1120-D. The session is free and is open to all faculty, staff and students.

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Written by
Nick Garrett

Nick Garrett is a communications coordinator in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him at 706-446-4802 or ngarret1@augusta.edu.

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Written by Nick Garrett

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