Omoruyi Ologbosere has his sight on someday becoming a dentist, but for a few weeks in May, he became a research scientist.
Ologbosere is one of 13 students selected to participate in the intensive, three-week Summer Bridge Research Experience program at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.
Summer Bridge participants worked in teams guided by faculty to understand the scientific methodology used by researchers to solve complex problems. They were taught how to collect, analyze and interpret data, then present their findings.
Ologbosere’s group, which also included Perimeter students Naeasha Octalien and Mamadu Bah, studied artichokes in various forms to determine whether artichokes have any antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Ologbosere, 20, spoke excitedly when explaining the value of their research and its implications for fighting bacteria and other illnesses.
“I’ve gotten some great experience,” he said while wearing a stark white lab coat and bright green tennis shoes strung with vibrant orange laces.
Perimeter science instructors Dr. Yan Liang and Gladys Bolding were faculty advisers for the students studying artichokes.
“We love science,” Bolding said. “We want to impact the students and give them a great experience.”
Bolding taught the students how to culture an agar plate, a medium for growing bacteria. She says this is an invaluable skill to have as a researcher, because it means you don’t have to wait for a lab assistant to do it for you.
“They went through the whole process, and it was really cool,” she said.
Summer Bridge is funded by the National Science Foundation Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, At Perimeter, the program is led by Margaret Major, a biology professor at the college.
“Every summer, faculty work methodically to ensure students receive the training that will prepare them for Research Experience for Undergraduates and Internships at other institutions,” Major said.
Begun in 2009, the Summer Bridge program gives students research experience they might not otherwise get while pursuing an associate degree. Summer Bridge scholars also visit labs at research universities, where they get to learn from research faculty, post- doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students.