Students to Present Research at John Wesley Powell Conference

John Wesley Powell Research Conference
The 32nd annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference will take place virtually April 10-11.

April 5, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — At the 32nd annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference, April 10-11, Illinois Wesleyan University students from across disciplines and class years will present their undergraduate research projects and creative work in a virtual format due to the ongoing pandemic.

The John Wesley Powell Research Conference is an annual event, established in 1990, that provides students with the opportunity to showcase their individual research projects and creative endeavors to the public. Presentations are either shared via a poster or a 15 minute oral presentation. Presentations and the schedule of events can be found through Illinois Wesleyan’s Digital Commons.

Broken into categories, the conference will hold various panels made up of student researchers from the educational studies, natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities programs in addition to a poster viewing session.

Graham Hatfull
University of Pittsburgh Eberly Family Professor of Biotechnology Graham Hatfull

Following the University’s annual intellectual theme of Health, Healing and Humanity, the conference will feature University of Pittsburgh Eberly Family Professor of Biotechnology Graham Hatfull to discuss mycobacteriophages — viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts. He will present the conference’s keynote address virtually on Saturday, April 10 at 2 p.m. titled: “From Petri Dish to Patient: Mycobacteriophages and Their Therapeutic Potential.”

Hatfull’s research focuses on the genetics of mycobacteriophages as means to understand and treat Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Founding the Phage Hunters Advancing Research and Education (PHIRE) program and the Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES), Hatfull has created a platform for educational missions and research across universities. Beginning this program with 12 participatory universities, it has now expanded to over a hundred universities — including Illinois Wesleyan — with thousands of students participating per year.

By Kailee Galloway ’23