Fort Valley, GA - Fort Valley State University biotechnology graduate students conduct plant cell research, test alternative fuel sources and develop pest resistant and high-yielding improved crops.
Fifteen students showcased these topics and more at the 2011 Biotechnology Graduate Research Symposium in the FVSU Pettigrew Center on April 21.
The symposium introduces students from various educational backgrounds to biotechnology. This science field uses biological processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life. Students described their work to an audience of faculty, FVSU staff and other students through oral poster presentations.
"Today we wanted to show how we can incorporate biotechnology into all the disciplines and allow students to practice their public speaking skills," said Dr. Anand K. Yadav, a FVSU professor of biotechnology who oversees the graduate program. Some of the disciplines mentioned include math, computer science, biology and agriculture.
In addition to showing the applications of biotechnology, presenters discussed why they chose the program and career goals after graduation.
"I wanted to choose a major that would allow me to make a change in the world," said ShaVon Maddin, a first-year biotechnology graduate student. "Biotechnology is the future and it will have a major impact on fuel production, agriculture and medicine."
The 24-year-old Detroit native said the hands-on experience she's receiving is preparation for her thesis and the long-term goal of employment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.
Dr. Mark Latimore Jr., interim assistant vice president for land-grant affairs, said there is a demand for this knowledge base. "Our students should have no problem moving into the industry or doctoral programs," he said.