Published on April 26, 2024 at 10:15 a.m. by Alison Ingle  
justin williams2

On Friday, April 19, Samford University hosted its 3rd annual Student Research Colloquia in the Davis Library. More than 90 students and student groups prepared poster presentations in 21 categories, ranging from analytics to exercise science to social work.

McWhorter School of Pharmacy was well represented at the colloquia, with two students receiving top honors in the graduate and undergraduate categories. 

Justin Williams, a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate in Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, presented research on "Evaluation of GLP-1RA Injectable Technique in a Small Cohort of Patients," while prepharmacy student Zachary Hagedorn explored the "Impact of CFTR Correctors on the Channel Activity of Rescued F508del CFTR in Airway Epithelial Cells."

Williams' research aimed to assess patient-reported data regarding the storage, preparation, administration and disposal of prescribed injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The objectives were to assess how specific glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1RA) may benefit patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at high risk for cardiovascular benefits. His research also aimed to evaluate the percentage of patients who appropriately handled their GLP1RA medications, which may adversely impact health outcomes, and compare proper usage among groups with different health literacy levels and diabetes durations.

"The colloquia is an amazing event that offers students and faculty the opportunity to learn about research being done by other schools," he said. Williams hopes the colloquia will provide future opportunities for collaboration and grant funding.
Meanwhile, Hagedorn's research evaluated the impact of FDA-approved medications, tezacaftor (TEZ) and elexacaftor (ELX), on the rF508del CFTR gene, which is present in approximately 90% of cystic fibrosis patients. The inspiration for his project came from Robert Wang, a professor of pharmacy, and his previous research.

"Not only does the colloquia inspire us researchers at Samford to practice our presenting skills, but it also provides exposure for our research that we can utilize later in our careers," said Hagedorn.

Linnea Minnema, director of grants and sponsored programs, said students benefit from collaborating with faculty and presenting to their peers. "Students really have an amazing experience. We realized this was a need for them. They're engaged in research with faculty, and we wanted to celebrate that," said Minnema.

The Research Advisory Collaborative leads this event in partnership with the Office of Research at Samford. The colloquia, open to undergraduate and graduate students from all 10 academic schools, allows students to gain practice presenting mixed disciplines to non-specialists.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.