Gonzaga undergraduates gain research skills via UW School of Medicine partnership

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership marks its third year of collaboration as five Gonzaga undergraduates build their biomedical research skills this summer at UW medical science laboratories in Seattle. 

Courtney Law, Ph.D., who leads Gonzaga's efforts within the Partnership to expand and enhance medical education and research in the Spokane region, said this is yet another example of how the university partners are leveraging resources to advance medical education in the region. 

Three rising seniors and two rising juniors were chosen from 10 applicants for the career-expanding research positions that began June 18. 

"I am most excited about the new experiences the students will have," Law said. "For some of these students, this is their first time in a graduate research laboratory, and it will be exciting to see how they adapt, what they learn and the new opportunities it will bring."

The students were placed in labs with UW mentors -- either graduate students, faculty researchers or postdoctoral fellows -- based on their career interests. 

Navath Nhan, a rising senior and mechanical engineering major, is researching aspects of rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson's disease -- exploring how they may benefit from new and emerging tools, including virtual reality. 

"I've been having a lot of fun learning as much as I can right now," said Nhan, adding the program is providing him with a rich research experience and wonderful professional relationships. 

The students will showcase and describe their work during a poster session on October 23 in Gonzaga's Hemmingson Center, alongside second-year UW medical students who will be reporting on their summer research projects in communities across the Pacific Northwest and abroad.