Student researcher represents Tarleton at Austin event

TSU Newsroom
Senior biology major Faith Cox represented Tarleton State University at the Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the state Capitol in Austin.

STEPHENVILLE — Senior biology major Faith Cox represented Tarleton State University at Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the state Capitol in Austin.

This year’s event, held virtually, hosted 60 student representatives from 47 institutions, providing an opportunity for the public and lawmakers to see the role undergraduates play in research.

During the first poster display in February, the site had 900 unique visitors and more than 3,000 page views. 

Faith’s presentation was titled “Development of a Triplex Quantitative PCR Assay for Avian Retroviruses.” The reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) and lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV) establish lifelong infections in susceptible birds, causing immunosuppression, neoplasia and eventually death.

This assay would allow for improved virus surveillance to protect at-risk groups, such as the endangered Attwater’s prairie chicken, of which REV is the leading cause of death in adult birds.

“I am very passionate about communicating science and presenting my work, so I am grateful to have had the opportunity to represent Tarleton at this year’s Texas Undergraduate Research Day,” Faith said.

Her faculty mentor is Dr. Dustin Edwards, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Educational Excellence at Tarleton.

“Conducting undergraduate research has prepared me for future studies by increasing my scientific literacy, communication skills, public speaking, resilience, ability to transfer and apply knowledge, and increased my confidence in myself as a scientist and academic,” said Faith, who plans to continue in research and pursue a PhD in virology.

Texas Undergraduate Research Day is coordinated by the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC) and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc. (ICUT). Support for virtual components was provided by the UT Austin Office of Undergraduate Research and School of Undergraduate Studies.

For more information about the event, visit cpupc.org.