University of Wisconsin–Madison

Alexandra Carl named Undergraduate Research Excellence Fellow by American Physiological Society

UW-Madison’s Alexandra Carl is one of six students from across the country to be named a 2017 Undergraduate Research Excellence Fellow (UGREF) by the American Physiological Society (APS).

Fellowship recipients spend the summer in the laboratory of an established scientist and APS member, with the UGREF program recruiting undergraduate students worldwide.

Carl conducts research with UW-Madison’s Jill Barnes, an assistant professor with the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology. She heads the Barnes Lab within the Bruno Balke Biodynamics Laboratory, where she investigates potential risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and dementia. Carl started volunteering in the Barnes Lab in 2015 as a Biology 152 student and continued to work in the laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant.  Her first laboratory project focused on cerebral blood flow regulation in women who had received menopausal hormone therapy and was presented at a recent American College of Sports Medicine conference.

Carl’s APS funded project will be analyzing data from a working memory test (the n-back test). She will be looking at the brain blood flow response to the cognitive test in an effort to determine if there is a difference in the response between healthy older adults and healthy younger adults.

“I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue my work in this laboratory through the APS fellowship,” says Carl. “Being able to work this summer will allow me to better my research skills and knowledge and the privilege of presenting at the 2018 EB conference will teach me more about the research world, allow me to gain presentation skills and experience, and provide me with great networking opportunities.“

According to this APS news release, the UGREF Fellows are selected based on academic merit, the quality of the proposed experience and the availability of appropriate faculty mentors.

Fellows must have at least nine months or more of research experience in a lab to be eligible.

Each Fellow receives a $4,000 stipend during their 10-week research experience and an additional $1,300 in travel funds to present their research at the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego, which is expected to attract nearly 14,000 attendees.

UGREF Fellows will participate in hands-on research to develop a hypothesis, design and troubleshoot experiments, collect and analyze data, and write and present results.