Public Release: 

APS research awards go to undergrads at Colorado State, Michigan State, Oberlin, Williams

American Physiological Society

BETHESDA, MD (April 26, 2006) - Students from Colorado State University, Oberlin College, Michigan State University and Williams College took top honors in the third annual David S. Bruce Undergraduate Research Awards competition this year.

Twenty nine student-researchers applied for The American Physiological Society (APS) award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate research. Judges chose the four winners from among 12 finalists who presented their research at the Experimental Biology 2006 (EB) conference earlier this month in San Francisco.

The winners receive $500 and a certificate. The 2006 Bruce award winners are as follows:

  • Manasi Bhate - Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH. "GCK-3 induced phosphorylation alters C1C anion channel outer pore structure," by Manasi Bhate, of Oberlin College, and Liping He and Kevin Strange of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Bhate did the research at Vanderbilt as part of an APS summer research fellowship. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in science.

  • Jennifer M. Edwards - Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. "Is there a relationship between the AT-1 receptor and O2- in renal wrap hypertension?" by Jennifer M. Edwards, Joseph R. Haywood and Carrie A. Northcott, Michigan State. Edwards plans to begin a D.O./Ph.D. program at Michigan State this summer.

  • Jon Christopher Gonzales - Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. "Endoplasmic reticulum stress increases glucose production in vivo via effects on live glycogenolysis and glucose-6-phosphatase activity," by Jon C. Gonzales, Yuren Wei, Dong Wang and Michael Pagliassotti, Colorado State. Gonzales, who plans to graduate in May 2007, hopes to enroll in a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences and become a university researcher and teacher.

  • Gillian Louise Sowden - Williams College, Williamstown, MA. "Peripheral oxyntomodulin increases heart rate in mice, independent of insulin and catecholamines," by Gillian Louise Sowden, and Steven John Swoap, Williams College, and David Weinshenker of Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Sowden expects to graduate this year and plans to attend medical school and eventually combine research and a medical career.

The award is named for David S. Bruce, a Wheaton (IL) College physiology professor who was dedicated to encouraging undergraduates to become involved in scientific research and pursue science careers. Bruce attended the Experimental Biology conference each year, usually with a student who presented his or her research during the poster session.

Bruce was active in APS, where he served as chairman of the Teaching Section. He died in 2000 of complications following a kidney transplant.

To be eligible for a Bruce award, the students had to be the first author of the research study, had to carry out the bulk of the experiment themselves, and had to submit an abstract of the study for presentation at EB. The Bruce award candidates also submitted a letter explaining the study and its significance. The students also had to have an interest in pursuing a career in a physiology, or a related field, including a biomedical career

The winners were chosen based on their abstracts, letters, and the presentation of their research at the poster sessions and to APS judges. The judges consider the

  • clarity of the student's research hypothesis
  • soundness of the experimental design
  • quality and organization of the poster, including graphics
  • coherence and creativity of the presentation
  • uniqueness of the research


Please go to for a list of the 12 Bruce finalists.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied bioscience. The Bethesda, Maryland-based society has more than 10,500 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals containing almost 4,000 articles annually.

APS provides a wide range of research, educational and career support and programming to further the contributions of physiology to understanding the mechanisms of diseased and healthy states. In May 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

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