WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 9, 2017 — West Liberty University biology students continue to garner accolades in the scientific community. Over the weekend, a dozen WLU students attended the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) regional meeting at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and two came away with big honors.
Poster presentations presented by Benjamin Wharton, Martins Ferry, Ohio and Aaron Koons, Williamsport, Md., were awarded first and second place Undergraduate Student Scientific Poster Presentation Awards. All other students presenting, both undergraduate and graduate, were selected as poster award finalists.
“Altogether, the Toppers provided 10 scientific poster presentations. Only two undergraduate poster awards are presented at the conference and our students swept the undergraduate category,” said Dr. Matthew Zdilla, who is their instructor and an associate professor of Biology and Physician Assistant Studies.
“I’m so proud of these anatomists,” he said. “They worked hard on the research and, when it came time to present to the scientific community, were confident in their knowledge.”
The research presentations involved the efforts of 19 students who perform anatomical research under his guidance. The presentations covered topics related to craniofacial development and the implications of craniofacial variation upon surgical procedures.
West Liberty University student anatomists have also presented their research at national and international conferences including the American Association of Anatomists national meetings in Boston and Chicago.
Zdilla notes, “I absolutely love getting the students involved in the anatomical scientific community and it’s a win-win— the AAA is great for our students and our students are great for them.”
Wharton’s 1st place presentation was titled, “The contour of the zygomatic bone from the zygomaticofrontal suture to the zygomaticotemporal suture” which he worked on with Branigan McGowan, Noah Teaff, Bryce Kesling, and Michelle Russell.
Koon’s 2nd place presentation was titled, “The development of the fetal, neonatal, and infant basiocciput” which he worked on with Jacob Pancake and Michelle Russell.
This year, the national conference, which attracts thousands from around the globe, will be held in San Diego and West Liberty University will be represented by a large cohort of undergraduate anatomists and students will present their research alongside world-renowned anatomists, mingle with scientists from a variety of disciplines, and attend lectures from Nobel laureates.