Greenfield High School Students Present Research On Congestive Heart Failure

March 9, 2011

A team of students from Greenfield High School has spent a lot of their free time doing scientific research. With their teachers, Julie Fangmann and Martin Volk, the students participated in MSOE’s SMART Teams (Students Modeling A Research Topic) program. They worked with Shama Mirza, a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to explore congestive heart failure and developing an assay to detect levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the patient’s blood.


In the past ten years, more than 2,000 high school students have participated in MSOE’s SMART Teams (Students Modeling A Research Topic) program. They collaborate with researchers and scientists at universities and laboratories across the country. These SMART Teams construct physical models of proteins to help researchers investigate important proteins—and they’re doing it as an extracurricular activity.


The program was developed by MSOE’s Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM) and grew out of a collaboration between the CBM and researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University and the Blood Research Institute.


“These students gain exposure to science as a career option – and do so in a way that is unique to our program,” said Shannon Colton, CBM program director. “MSOE SMART Teams is celebrating the 10th year of this unique opportunity, expanding from a single team in 2001 to over 60 teams nationwide today.”


Many of the students who were part of a SMART Team have gone on to pursue degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.


MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.


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