HPU Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized for Research and Innovation

Aug 14th, 2020

HPU Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized for Research and Innovation

HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 14, 2020 – Members of the High Point University community frequently conduct, publish and share research and creative works in a variety of ways. Below is a recap of recent research initiatives.

HPU Student, Alumna and Faculty Research Featured in National Scientific Journal

Casey Garr, HPU alumna; Candyce Sturgeon, HPU rising senior; Dr. Veronica Segarra, HPU assistant professor of biology; and Noah Franks, student at Penn Griffin School of the Arts in High Point, North Carolina; recently conducted research that was published in Autophagy, a national scientific journal.

The study, titled, “Autophagy as an on-ramp to scientific discovery,” examines HPU’s Cell Art Collaborative program to gain understanding around how the recruitment of highly creative students into STEM fields through connections to art can be a first step in defining a specialized career path that leads to a valuable and unique contribution to science.

“In addition to providing experiential learning opportunities for students at HPU to conduct hands-on research and co-author peer-reviewed articles, the Cell Art Collaborative program encourages students in the local community to explore careers that incorporate both science and art,” says Segarra. “This initiative continues to facilitate conversations around STEAM-based learning environments for educators to take advantage of a wider range of student talents and interests, preparing them to go forth into society as the creative thinkers and problem solvers the world needs.”

HPU Student’s Research Featured in CBE: Life Sciences Education Journal

Clara Primus, a rising junior majoring in biology and Bonner Leader at HPU, recently collaborated with prominent scientists at the Mayo Clinic, University of California Davis and Northwestern to conduct research that was published in CBE: Life Sciences Education, a quarterly journal published by the American Society for Cell Biology. The article, titled, “Scientific Societies Fostering Inclusive Scientific Environments through Travel Awards: Current Practices and Recommendations,” examines how scientific societies can contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The research compares and contrasts the broad approaches that scientific societies within the National Science Foundation-funded Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS) use to implement and assess their travel award programs for underrepresented minority (URM) trainees. Findings will improve collaboration and better position scientific societies to begin addressing some of these questions and learning from each other. 

“The recommendations included in this research shed light on how even scientific societies can be allies in furthering inclusion efforts,” said Primus. “I’ve spent nearly two years studying equity and diversity, and I hope that I can take the knowledge I’ve learned from all of my research to educate my peers at HPU.”


HPU Exercise Science Professor Publishes Statement for the American Heart Association

Dr. Colin Carriker, assistant professor of exercise science in HPU’s Congdon School of Health Sciences, recently co-authored an American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement on medicinal and recreational cannabis use published in Circulation.

The statement critically reviews the use of medicinal and recreational cannabis from a clinical but also a policy and public health perspective by evaluating its safety and efficacy profile, particularly in relation to cardiovascular health. The purpose of this scientific statement was to explore the evidence and science pertaining to medical marijuana, recreational cannabis and cardiovascular health to provide physicians and health care providers with the information available to date. While cannabis may have some therapeutic benefits, these do not appear to be cardiovascular in nature. Health care providers would benefit from increased knowledge, education and training pertaining to various cannabis products and health implications, including recognition that cannabis use may, in fact, exacerbate cardiovascular events or other health problems. In this regard, the negative health implications of cannabis should be formally and consistently emphasized in policy, while aligning with the American Heart Association’s commitment to minimizing the smoking and vaping of any products and banning cannabis use for youth.

“It was an honor to work alongside such a high-quality team of researchers,” says Carriker. “I want to especially thank our committee chairs, Dr. Robert L. Page II and Dr. Larry A. Allen, as their extraordinary leadership and organization were integral components in the completion and publication of this AHA scientific statement. We publish these statements to counterbalance and debunk misinformation because the public requires high-quality information about cannabis from reputable organizations such as the American Heart Association.”

Carriker is the advocacy ambassador for the American Heart Association’s Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and served as a member of the writing committee tasked with writing this AHA Scientific Statement initiated by the AHA’s Council on Clinical Cardiology.