EMCC student receives INBRE scholarship

East Mississippi Community College student Leah Jackson has been named a Mississippi INBRE Service Scholar and will perform biomedical research during a 10-week-long internship. (submitted photo)
Staff Writer

An East Mississippi Community College student from Starkville has earned a prestigious biomedical internship opportunity.

Leah Jackson, a student on the Scooba campus, received a $4,500 award from the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), comprised of a network of colleges and universities providing biomedical research. The organization emphasizes research in the areas of cancer, obesity, and sexually transmitted diseases. Jackson and other INBRE scholars will spend the period of May 21 through July 27 in internships where they will learn new research methods and develop other skills. During the internship, Jackson will spend time at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Molecular and Genomics Core Facility and do some work with Mississippi State University faculty. The scholars will also present research at the Mississippi INBRE Symposium in the fall and at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences in February 2019.

“My bio professor here at EMCC, Mr. (Connie) Rye, told me about it, and said I should look into it, and I did,” Jackson said.

Another biology instructor, Robert Shinn, helped her get the paperwork and other required application materials together. “I was really happy when I made it in, because I don’t really do anything as far as applying for scholarships and stuff,” Jackson said. “It was my first time applying for one, or something close to it. It feels really good.”

Jackson was born in Harvey, Illinois, but has lived in Starkville and is an alumna of Starkville High School. She said a big part of her interest in science began while she was a student at SHS.

“(It) was really eye-opening and fun, and I was like ‘that’s what I want to do when I get older,’” Jackson said.

Jackson plans to transfer into the University of Alabama at Birmingham after completing her EMCC degree. She hopes to become an anatomy and physiology teacher. However, she is open to other opportunities.