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Biology senior to present research before Congress

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A senior biology student in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) will showcase his research before Congress as he represents the university at the 16th annual Posters on the Hill session in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Popoola will join 73 other undergraduate students selected from across the country to participate in the April 24 event. More than 850 student researchers applied for the program. He is the only student selected from Indiana.

This latest honor follows his selection in November to present at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and a presentation on March 29 at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

“This really represents the hallmark of my undergraduate achievement,” said Popoola, originally from Nigeria. “I never dreamed I could have this opportunity. It’s a great honor and privilege, and I feel blessed and so proud to represent IUPUI.”

The poster presentation titled: “When a Fire Leads to a Drink: Enhancement of Alcohol-Seeking by Microinjection of Nicotine Directly Into the Reward Neurocircuitry,” contains findings from Popoola’s current research under Dr. Zachary Rodd, his research advisor, and Dr. Sheketha Hauser, both of the IU School of Medicine. The research examines how nicotine affects alcohol intake in rodents, which could ultimately have applications in human alcohol consumption.

“Daniel represents the best of Indiana and is a great example of the type of research opportunities available at IUPUI,” said Dr. Kathryn Wilson, assistant vice chancellor for research and the McNair Program Director at IUPUI. “These events allow our best and brightest students to interact with members of Congress and discuss the importance of continuing to support research initiatives at the undergraduate level.”

Popoola participates in the Ronald E. McNair Program. Administered through the IUPUI Center for Research and Learning, the McNair program works to provide research opportunities for undergraduate students seeking admission to Ph.D. programs. He hopes to complete medical school in the United States and one day travel the world as a neurosurgeon.

In addition to being heavily involved in research, Popoola is a member of the School of Science Ambassador Leadership Team and the IUPUI African Student Association. He also mentors high school and other undergraduates through the 21st Century Scholars program at IUPUI, the pre-college program at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School and the International Peer Mentoring Program.

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