Dr. Tesfaye Belay, BSC Professor of Biology
An esteemed scientific journal has published a biomedical research article developed and written by Bluefield State College students and a BSC faculty member. The article in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access publication, involved the collaborative biomedical research efforts of seven current and former Bluefield State College students. Elisha Martin, Gezelle Brown, Raenel Crenshaw, Julia Street, Ashleigh Freeman, Shane Musick, and Tyler Kinder, and BSC Professor Dr. Tesfaye Belay.
The BSC team’s research focused upon chlamydia genital infection caused by Chlamydia muridarum under cold-induced stress (CIS) conditions of a mouse model. “Using a mouse stress model, the Bluefield State College researchers were the first to discover that CIS can suppress and change the functions of the immune system, leading to less protection against the infection,” Dr. Belay explained. “Each BSC co-author played a role in planning to develop a hypothesis, performing experiments, collecting and interpreting date, and finally, writing and editing the manuscript.”
Over the past 14 years, the mouse stress model has been used in research conducted by Dr. Belay and BSC student researchers. “Four peer-reviewed publications and more than 100 abstracts and poster presentations have been generated to date,” the BSC faculty member added.
The depth and breadth of the research experience at Bluefield State has grown steadily, according to Dr. Belay. “More than 50 students have gained research experience in research performance, contributing to the students’ career success. Several onetime student researchers are now MDs, PhDs, DOs, pharmacists, and physician assistants,” he said.
“The College’s research capabilities have been augmented with additional, sophisticated laboratory and research equipment, contributing to our students’ participation in presenting their research findings at national and regional scientific conferences,” Belay continued. “Research conducted at Bluefield State College has resulted in the College receiving a steadily increasing amount of extramural funding from well-known entities, including the National Institute of Health.”
“Undergraduate research is considered a high-impact educational practice,” added Dr. Ted Lewis, BSC Provost. “I congratulate Dr. Belay for engaging his students in this pedagogy and assisting them in having their research published in a peer-reviewed journal.”
“The research being conducted by Bluefield State College students and faculty is outstanding,” BSC President Robin Capehart stated. “The BSC community is extremely proud of this most recent example of the College’s commitment to excellence in the academic arena.”