Research Interests: Clinical nutrition;
Carnitine synthesis, transport, and function;
Nutrient needs and metabolism of special populations including preterm neonates and individuals with HIV disease, diabetes, obesity, or central nervous system dysfunction;
Use of the piglet as an animal model for metabolic studies
There are positions available for undergraduate students with a desire to be involved in a meaningful research experience. These projects emphasize independent, critical and creative thinking. The undergraduate research program is composed of three research teams. The Gator Team works with children who are HIV positive. There are patient support activities as well as nutritional and body composition data collection and analyses for clinical studies. The Carnitine Team studies the long-chain fatty acid carrier, carnitine, by working with animal models and analyzing data gathered in both human and animal studies. The KetoGator Team works with children participating in Ketogenic Therapy for seizures, which is a dietary alternative to anticonvulsant medications. There is an emphasis on patient support, data collection, and data analyses for clinical studies. Members of all three teams make up the InvestiGators. InvestiGators is a research-based honor society that provides students who are involved in intensive research a forum to practice good research procedure, share knowledge, and foster friendships (http://borum.ifas.ufl.edu/Investigators/ ). Undergraduate students with adequate commitment to the project have opportunities to be involved in either patient interaction and/or bench research. With time, there is a potential for leadership positions and personal thesis projects.
Requirements: Students willing to commit a minimum of 1 year to the project will be considered, but a longer tenure is needed to provide students with the opportunity to present research at national scientific meetings and to publish their research in leading peer reviewed scientific journals. Students will be treated as professional colleagues and be expected to perform in a mature and professional manner.
Time Commitment: 20 hours/week for 1 year
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