Competitive Summer Research includes three additional SNU students

In a previous release from Southern Nazarene University (SNU), five students were named as having been awarded the opportunity to do research at the OU Health Science Center. In addition to those five, we would like to recognize three additional SNU students who are participating in a Competitive Summer Research program this year.

Andy Cox, SNU Senior was accepted to Colorado State University (CSU) to do summer research. The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at CSU allows students to participate in active research in a wide range of areas such as: Protein structure and function, transcriptional mechanisms, molecular neurobiology, regulation of gene expression in a chromatin context, cancer biology, plant biology, embryonic development, diabetes, cytoskeleton dynamics and virology. Each student is assigned to a faculty member’s research laboratory, where the student works closely with the faculty mentor, post-doctoral associates, and graduate students. For more information, visit

Erin Heap, SNU Sophomore and a Biochemistry major was selected as a summer research intern at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The specific institute Erin is working with is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is located in Baltimore, MD. Erin is currently involved in a project studying the brain tissue of rats that were injected with a virus that causes a specific protein to be produced. Her job this summer is to develop specific methods to locate and activate that protein in hopes of viewing the entire neuron that took up the virus.

“I have only had one year of schooling in the sciences. I feel very competent in the lab setting and with most of the terms being used by my superiors and colleagues,” said Heap. “I would definitely attribute that preparedness to my professors and classes that I’ve taken my freshman year, especially Microbiology with Dr. Halliday.”

Johnnie West, SNU Freshman and Biochemistry major, OMRF Fleming Scholar and a SNU Science Scholar. Johnnie is doing her summer research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). Since 1956, more than 400 gifted Oklahoma science students have participated in the OMRF program. For more information on the summer program at OMRF visit

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