INBRE scholars: Meet Lisa Poppe

Image with caption: Lisa Poppe
Lisa Poppe
Twenty-two undergraduate students are spending the summer at UNMC doing research.

They are called INBRE scholars and are part of the largest grant in UNMC history.

Today we feature Lisa Poppe, a junior at Doane College majoring in biochemistry.

Tell us about yourself. Who are your heroes?
I run cross country and track at Doane, as well as being a member of the band. I don't know if I have any heroes, but my friends and family are a huge part of my life. I look up to each of them in some way or another, and I wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for them.

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What are your career goals?
I would like to pursue a Ph. D., conduct medical research and possibly teach at the college or university level. I'm still not sure exactly where I would like to focus my research yet.

How did you become interested in science?
I have always loved science, especially chemistry and biology. I really became interested in research when I realized how many things in the medical field are still unknown. We have made great progress, but there's so much more to learn. I don't think doctors should have to tell patients "I don't know," whether that we don't know what's wrong or we don't know how to fix it. Through personal experience, I know those are hard words to hear. I think that's part of the reason I really feel called to do research; I'd rather be out working to discover something new and fill those gaps in knowledge.

What do you hope the INBRE program will do for you?
I hope to gain firsthand research experience and good connections that will help me down the road. I'm also hoping this will help me to get a better idea of what type of research I'd like to focus on and be more involved in for the future.

How do you see science evolving over the next 20 years?
I think science, like the rest of the world, will have changed a lot in 20 years. Just think about how much the world has changed in the last twenty years: Internet, cell phones, improved medical care and so much more. Today, with practically any information available anywhere with just a click or quick Google search, everything can happen so much quicker.


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The INBRE program

Twenty-two students from 11 different undergraduate and community college programs have joined the Institutional Development Award Program (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)/ Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) program. The INBRE/BRIN program is overseen by James Turpen, Ph.D., a professor in UNMC's Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and principal investigator of the $17.2 million National Institutes of Health grant that supports the program.

Established in 2001, the INBRE program was created to expose students to serious biomedical research, build a statewide biomedical research infrastructure between undergraduate and graduate institutions and to strengthen undergraduate institution's infrastructure and increase its capacity to conduct cutting-edge biomedical and behavioral research.

The students, referred to as INBRE scholars, enter the program after completing their sophomore year of college upon recommendation by their college professors. The students are given a two-year scholarship and spend 10 weeks each summer conducting research on either their home campus or at UNMC, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or Creighton University.

At the end of the summer the students attend the INBRE annual meeting where they will give an oral presentation.