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Graduate Student Spotlight Series 2020

The Graduate Student Spotlight Series is a showcase for acknowledging distinction among Idaho State University graduate and professional students. Designees are nominated by their advisors to the Graduate School for consideration. The selection committee bases its decision on alignment with the mission and core themes of ISU.

College of Pharmacy

Shaikh Emdadur Rahman


Shaikh is a doctoral candidate in the Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences program. His dissertation research focuses on drug discovery and repurposing to prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss is a global public health issue. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the hearing-disabled population worldwide will reach 900 million by 2050. Ototoxic drug treatment is a leading cause of hearing loss. About 9 million Americans are exposed to a wide range of ototoxic medications each year. One of the most ototoxic drugs is cisplatin, a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. 30-90% of cancer patients who received the treatment developed permanent hearing loss. Shaikh is using a robust, high-throughput zebrafish assay to screen for drugs that will protect cancer patients from cisplatin-induced hearing damage. To this end, he is instrumental in setting up ISU's only zebrafish research facility on the Meridian campus. The zebrafish facility is expected to accelerate cutting-edge drug discovery and support multiple collaborative biomedical research projects at ISU.

College of Arts and Letters

Diane Keister

Diane is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Idaho State University. Her research is focused on understanding barriers and societal factors within the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with developmental disabilities and how that impacts seeking services. In particular, she is interested in working with underserved populations to highlight gaps in services. Her current work uses a community-based, participatory research approach to address barriers in seeking diagnostic and treatment services within a Northwestern Native American tribal community. This approach allows the researchers and the community to be equal partners in this scientific inquiry. Through this research, she aims to address the differing diagnostic rates of developmental disabilities within Native Americans compared to non-Hispanic Whites by developing an intervention that is tailored to the specific beliefs of the tribal community. Diane’s goal for her research is to reduce stigma surrounding developmental disabilities as well as barriers to treatment. By doing so, she hopes to make it easier for individuals to seek out and receive services for developmental disabilities.

College of Health Professions

Edson Andrade

Edson Andrade is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Couseling program at Idaho State University. He is also a fellow of the California State University Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP). CDIP prepares doctoral students to be qualified and competitive applicants for faculty positions within the California State University system. Through his research, Edson seeks to quantify aspects of counselor training in bilingual/bicultural counseling settings, he will use a research method known as Q-methodology for his dissertation. His approach will be to ask counselor educators who currently train bilingual/bicultural counselors to rank factors related to this type of counselor training in the Latinx community. The factor analysis will illuminate viewpoints regarding essential training practices. Ultimately, these training factors may contribute to the development of bilingual/bicultural counselors who can competently serve the Latinx population. Edson immigrated at a young age from Mexico to Southern California where he witnessed first-hand the need for engaging culturally diverse groups in mental health services. For this reason, he became interested in advancing the counseling services rendered to the Latinx community. However, there exists a dearth of research promoting the training of culturally and linguistically skilled counselors; Edson's work will help fill this gap. 


College of Science and Engineering

a female student posing for a picture

Madeline Cook

Since the commencement of the Manhattan Project there has been significant need for greater understanding of the effects of radioactive materials on living organisms. Plutonium is of particular interest due to its use in nuclear energy and the production of nuclear weapons. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has recommended a series of ever more sophisticated models to describe the behavior of plutonium in the body. These models are mathematically and computationally based with a pseudo approach to physiology. The pharmaceutical industry has examined a comparable method known as physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. The development of a PBPK model for plutonium may corroborate modeling methods recommended by the ICRP. My thesis work identifies the volume of distribution (VD) of plutonium, a parameter necessary for the development of a PBPK model, using data from studies in which rats were administered an injection of plutonium. The goal of this research was to identify a value of VD consistent with the known biological and physiological behavior of plutonium. This is the first step toward the creation of a PBPK model that will be used to validate the models currently applied in the event of a public or occupational intake of plutonium.



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