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INBRE Scholars: Morgan Shipley

On May 29, the Nebraska Institutional Development Award Program (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program welcomed 28 undergraduate students from across Nebraska as they embark on their summer research experience at Creighton University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UNMC.

The breakdown of this year's 28 INBRE Scholars include:

  • Representatives of nine colleges and universities;
  • 18 women; and
  • 10 men.

Below Morgan Shipley, a biology major at Nebraska Wesleyan University, talks about her INBRE experience.

Tell me about yourself. Who are your heroes?
I am a junior at Nebraska Wesleyan, and my on-campus involvement includes the softball team, Delta Zeta sorority, Tri-Beta Honorary, and Pre-Health Club. My biggest heroes are definitely my parents, because they are the reason that I have gotten to the place that I am now. If it wasn't for their support, there is no way that I would have all the opportunities that I've been blessed with.

What are your career goals?
After undergrad, my plan is to go on to graduate school for biomedical research. I haven't decided a certain area that I would like to focus on, but two areas that I am interested in now are cancer biology and neuroscience. My end goal would be to work in a lab doing biomedical research, whether that be in academia or industry.

How did you become interested in science?
I have always been fascinated by science, specifically the human body and how it works. Once I got to college, I knew I wanted to do something related to human biology as my career. I also am drawn to how many people medicine helps, and how many lives I can change through my work.

What do you hope the INBRE program will do for you?
I hope that through the INBRE program, I can learn to be comfortable in a lab, as well as in conducting my own experiments. I already have made several connections and had amazing opportunities in the few short weeks I have been in the program. Mentors such as Dr. (Justin) Mott, whose lab I am working in for the summer, have helped me understand what graduate school and lab work is truly like. I hope that by the end of this program, I can confidently say that this is what I want to do for my career.

How do you see science evolving over the next 20 years?
Technology is advancing every day, and I believe that these improvements will help scientists find answers to the questions that still puzzle us today. One advancement that I would like to see over the next 20 years in science is the improvement of accessibility of solutions. With all the discoveries we are making in science, we should be able to spread our knowledge to areas and people who don't have the resources to make these discoveries on their own in a more efficient manner.


The INBRE program is overseen by Paul Sorgen, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at UNMC and principal investigator of the $16.2 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 institutions' infrastructure and increase their 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 receive 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 give an oral presentation on their research project.

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