Ohio Northern University students Emily Wells, a fourth-year pharmacy major from New Carlisle, Ohio, and Olivia Dinsmore, a third-year pharmacy major from South Lyons, Mich., were recognized by their peers for their research presentation at the Student Research Conference hosted by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 24.

High school, undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the Student Research Conference voted to put Wells and Dinsmore in a five-way tie as runner-up for the Student Choice Award. Sigma Xi’s District of Columbia Chapter sponsors this award.

Their research is titled “Evaluation of Inhibitory Potential in Potential New Anti-biotic Compounds Designed Using Computer Modeling to Inhibit Glutamate Racemase.” The co-authors are Danny Krall, a 2010 ONU pharmacy graduate; Amy Stockert, ONU associate professor of biochemistry; and Tarek Mahfouz, ONU associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. The project’s adviser is Stockert.

Wells and Dinsmore shared a $50 prize and will each get a year of Sigma Xi membership dues paid for by the Society’s board of directors. Wells and Dinsmore became Sigma Xi members earlier this year. Sigma Xi is the international honor society for scientists and engineers.

During the student research conference, professional scientists and engineers volunteer to judge high school, undergraduate and graduate students on the research they present and their ability to communicate that research. The judges ask questions and talk to the students one-on-one. Comments from judges are provided to the students to encourage further development of their research and communication skills. Approximately 80 students presented research during the conference.

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, is the international honor society of scientists and engineers. The Society has maintained a distinguished history of service to science and society for more than a century. Scientists and engineers, whose research spans the disciplines of science and technology, comprise the membership of the Society. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members.