University of South Florida


Biobehavioral Lab Student Volunteers Pose with Dr. Stephanie Prescott

USF College of Nursing Biobehavioral Lab student volunteers pose with Dr. Stephanie Prescott.

Biobehavioral Research Laboratory Receives Award To Expand Undergraduate Research and Leadership

The University of South Florida (USF) College of Nursing Biobehavioral Research Laboratory received $10,000 in funding from the Florida High Tech Corridor to expand its volunteer training program. 

The volunteer training program aims to provide a holistic biobehavioral laboratory experience for students with an interest in research and bench science. Students are invited to tour the lab and receive 3 to 4 weeks of training in techniques such as DNA and RNA extraction, ELISA, and cell culture. After training, student volunteers can participate in ongoing research in the laboratory and contribute to literature reviews and grant preparation. 

Lab volunteers take fun group photo

Lab volunteers show off equipment.
Pictured left to right: 

The funding from Florida High Tech Corridor will be used to expand leadership opportunities. Four students will be paid hourly for their time in the lab and act as trainers and mentors for incoming volunteers in addition to leading project initiatives.

"Our undergraduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) have demonstrated strengths in both their technical lab skills as well as through their personal drive and leadership abilities," says Hailey Morgan, a doctorate in nursing science student and graduate research assistant for the lab. "They have been essential to the expansion of our volunteer program by educating our new volunteers, coordinating lab activities, and participating in research conferences."

Sapna Patel, an Upper Division Nursing program student, joined the lab in her freshman year and gradually began assisting with PhD projects.  

"Being able to engage in research in a safe and encouraging environment has enabled me to have so many opportunities that will help me attain my career goals," says Patel. "I have had the opportunity to attend multiple conferences to present posters and even take part in working on publications with the guidance of Dr. Prescott and the lab."

Currently, Patel works in the lab as a TA, funded by the Florida High Tech Corridor.

Dr. Stephanie Prescott mentors volunteers

Dr. Stephanie Prescott mentors volunteers.

The volunteer training program was created by the Biobehavioral Lab Director, Stephanie Prescott, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, who looks forward to seeing the effects the funding has on this program.

Prescott believes, "possible future innovations resulting from these projects include: point of care testing to enable early diagnostics, personalized, patient-participatory symptom management strategies, and probiotic supplement development."

Learn more about the USF College of Nursing Biobehavioral Research Laboratory.

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