WVU graduate student presents research in D.C.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chose Tricia Lewis, a graduate student in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, to discuss her research with policymakers and legislators on Capitol Hill this week.

Lewis – a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology – is focusing her research on the hazards of a common herbicide, propanil, used widely in rice fields. Propanil may interfere with the function of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps protect the body from infection. This decreased immune response could lead to cancer or autoimmune diseases.

Lewis became interested in the research after meeting with her adviser, John Barnett, Ph.D., who has been studying the effects of propanil for several years. Lewis received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Ohio University.

Tricia Lewis

The EPA STAR (Science to Achieve Results) Fellowship program attracts and supports the next generation of environmental scientists, engineers and policymakers. The program promotes environmental research, advances green principles and makes connections between communities.

Lewis was one of 28 EPA Fellows from a group of 135 chosen to present at the 2009 EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21 and 22. This year’s conference was co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Council for Science and the Environment.

For information on the EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship Conference see http://www.scgcorp.com/fellowship2009/index.htm.

For information on the School of Medicine see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/micro/.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
kc: 9-22-09.

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