A quick shove into scientific research paid dividends over the summer for science students at The College of Idaho.

Four students worked together to earn second place at a state-wide IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Conference in Moscow after completing an intensive, 3.5-week research project with Wendy Harvey of the biology department.

Senior Alex Leblanc, juniors Maura Sweeney and Daniella Manirakiza, and sophomore Colton Troxel presented their research findings on a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9 in July.

“It’s such a short timeframe that you get dumped into the deep end of the pool and, so far, the students that have done the program have swum,” said Harvey, herself a 2003 graduate of the College. “They’re doing really, really well.”

The summer program, called The College of Idaho Scholars Program, just completed its second year. It’s one of multiple undergraduate research opportunities available during the year in scientific fields at the College, whether under the INBRE umbrella or the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, that is intentionally short.

“It gives you a taste of research. It’s not the full summer program,” Harvey explained. “Students can see if this is for them. It gives them a research opportunity and it gives them experience.”

Students apply for the program in January. Applications are reviewed before selections are made. Reviews include recommendations from faculty as well as experience – this program is meant to introduce students to research.

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