WMRUGS Research Conference

West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference

The 2017 WMRUGS Research Conference will take place November, 4, 2017 at Van Andel Research Institute. The annual West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science (WMRUGS) Research Conference provides an outstanding opportunity for undergraduate students to present their own research to a large and supportive group of professional scientists. The program includes a keynote speaker, research posters presented by undergraduates as well as research talks by undergraduate and graduate students from regional colleges and universities. Graduate school recruiters/representatives will be on hand to discuss opportunities at their institutions, and internship and employment recruiters/representatives will be available to discuss opportunities with their organizations.

Download the event program here.

Schedule of events

8:30  AM | ARRIVAL AND POSTER SETUP, Cook-Hauenstein Hall

9:00  AM | WELCOME/OPENING REMARKS, Tomatis Auditorium 

9:15  AM | KEYNOTE ADDRESS, Tomatis Auditorium 

10:00 AM | POSTER SESSION I, Cook-Hauenstein Hall
Presenters at even-numbered posters 
Refreshments served

11:25 AM | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT TALKS (4), Tomatis Auditorium 
12 minute talks, 3 minutes for Q&A (for each student)

12:25 PM | LUNCH, Cook-Hauenstein Hall

1:25 PM | POSTER SESSION II, Cook-Hauenstein Hall
Presenters at odd-numbered posters 

2:50 PM | GRADUATE STUDENT TALKS (2), Tomatis Auditorium 
15 minute talks, 5 minutes for Q&A (for each student)



Poster information

Presenters will stand by their posters in either the morning or afternoon sessions based on the assigned poster number. Even-numbered posters will be presented in the morning (poster session I) and odd-numbered posters will be presented in the afternoon (poster session II).

  • Poster board dimensions are 60” W x 40” H;
  • Due to space limitations, the maximum number of posters is 159;
  • VARI will only provide push pins to hang posters. Please, DO NOT use poster putty or double-sided tape on poster boards.

Internship and employment recruiters

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI)
If you’re interested in an internship or employment opportunity at VARI, please see Michelle Love at the conference info. desk.

Graduate school recruiters

Case Western Reserve University – Department of Chemistry
Dr. Genevieve Sauve, Associate Professor, gxs244@case.edu, 216-368-3665

Central Michigan University – Graduate Recruiting & Admissions
Robert Hassen, Manager of Graduate Recruiting, hasse1r@cmich.edu, 989-774-1708

Grand Valley State University
Jennifer Palm, Assistant to the Graduate School, palmj@gvsu.edu, 616-331-6858

Mark Luttenton, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Graduate School, luttentm@gvsu.edu, 616-331-2675

Tim Born, Ph.D., Professional Science Master’s Program Coordinatorbornti@gvsu.edu, 616-331-8643

Indiana University School of Medicine
Brandy Wood, Assistant Director, IBMG Program for Ph.D. Study, biomed@iupui.edu, 317-274-3441

Imade Imasuen-Williams, Graduate Student, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Ph.D. program, iimasuen@iupui.edu

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Kitty O’Doherty, Graduate Program Administrator, czinski@iupui.edu, 317-274-8969

Dr. Nicholas Manicke, Assistant Professor, nmanicke@iupui.edu, 317-274-6819

Dr. Sebastien Laulhe, Assistant Professor, slaulhe@iupui.edu, 317-274-6883

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Whitney Kieca, Admissions Counselor, wkieca@luc.edu or ssom-admissions@luc.edu, 708-216-3229

Manchester University
Julianne Cogley, Assistant Director, jacogley@manchester.edu, 260-470-2678

Michigan State University – Biomolecular Science Gateway
Jake Reske, Graduate Researcher, BMSGrad@msu.edu, 517-353-9845

Aiko Turmo, Graduate Researcher, BMSGrad@msu.edu, 517-353-9845

Michigan State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lorie Culham, Admissions Manager, com.admissions@hc.msu.edu, 517-353-7740

Michigan State University – Reproductive & Developmental Sciences Program,and NIH/NICHD-Sponsored Reproductive & Developmental Sciences Program
Asgi Fazleabas, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair, asgi@hc.msu.edu, 616-234-0980

Keith Latham, Ph.D., Professor, lathamk1@msu.edu, 517-353-7750

University of Michigan – Michigan Medicine – Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
Jim Musgrave, Director of Graduate Admissions & Recruitment, jdmusg@umich.edu, 734-647-7005

Donald Little, Graduate Student, dwlittle@umich.edu, 734-647-7005

University of Michigan – School of Public Health
Mary Carroll, Assistant Director of Student Affairs, maryeli@umich.edu, 734-764-9554

University of Notre Dame
Linda Chism, Recruitment Coordinator, lchism@nd.edu, 574-631-7706

Brandon Cook, Graduate School Recruiter, bcook4@nd.edu, 574-631-4694

Van Andel Institute Graduate School
Christy Mayo, Enrollment and Records Administrator, registrar@vai.org, 616-234-5708

Wayne State University –  Gradaute School
Deirdre Baker, Director of Graduate Admissions, dbaker@wayne.edu, 313-577-8141

Western Michigan University – Gradaute School
Mark Webster, Graduate School Ambassador, mark.k.webster@wmich.edu

Sarah Webster, Graduate School Ambassador, sarah.e.webster@wmich.edu


Hotel Information

Hampton Inn by Hilton – Medical Mile/Michigan Street
433 Dudley Place, NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.8 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.456.2000

Holiday Inn – Downtown
310 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.8 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.235.7611

CityFlats Hotel
83 Monroe Center, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.5 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.451.1892

Riverfront Hotel – Grand Rapids (formerly Radisson Hotel)
270 Ann Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Driving Distance: 2.3 miles/6-8 minutes
Phone: 616.363.9001

Courtyard Marriott
11 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI
Driving Distance: 0.8 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.242.6000

JW Marriott
235 Louis Campau Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.7 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.242.1500

Amway Grand Plaza – Downtown
187 Monroe Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.5 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.774.2000

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
2701 East Beltline, SE, (near 28th St)
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Driving Distance: 9.9. miles/16-18 minutes
Phone: 616.957.8111

Homewood Suites – Downtown Grand Rapids
161 Ottawa Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Driving Distance: 0.3 miles/5-7 minutes
Phone: 616.451.2300

Additional hotel options near Gerald R. Ford International Airport are below:
(Approximately 13 miles from Airport to Van Andel Institute in downtown Grand Rapids)

Clarion Inn and Suites (2.4 miles from Gerald R. Ford Airport/9.9 miles from VAI)
4981 28th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Phone: 1616.956.9304

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts (2.1 miles from Gerald R. Ford Airport/10.5 miles from VAI)
5700 East 28th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: 1.877.270.1393

Sleep Inn & Suites Grand Rapids (2 miles from Gerald R. Ford Airport/10.9 miles from VAI)
4284 29th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI     49512
Phone: 1.616.975.9000

Springhill Suites Grand Rapids Airport SE (1.77 miles from Gerald R. Ford Airport/9.6 miles from VAI)
5250 28th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Phone: 1.888.287.9400


Parking and ticket validation

The 2017 WMRUGS Research Conference will be held at Van Andel Research Institute located at 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Please see address below for Ramp 1 for Ellis Parking near VARI:

25 Michigan Street, NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Parking is FREE. When entering the parking ramp, please take a pink parking ticket at the gate. You will receive a white validated ticket at the conference which validates your parking when exiting the parking ramp. When exiting the parking ramp, please submit the pink parking ticket first and then the white validated parking ticket. If you need special accommodations while attending this event, please contact Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.org and identify where we can help. Download parking instructions by clicking here.

Sponsorship Information

The West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference is celebrating its 11th annual day of learning and networking. The conference attracts 300 or more attendees for this one-day research event. Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels. Click here for sponsorship opportunities

Please contact Aubrie Bruinsma for further information at Aubrie.Bruinsma@vai.org or 616.234.5821.

Event Sponsors

Keynote Sponsor

Poster Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors

Organizing Committee

Drs. Jiyan Ma (VARI), Julie Turner (VARI), Viviane Labrie (VARI), Eric Xu (VARI), Galen Hostetter (VARI), Jennifer Hess (Aquinas College), Keith Grasman (Calvin College), Mark Staves (GVSU) and Greg Fraley (Hope College).

WMRUGS Archives