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Abstract Guidelines

An abstract is an outline/brief summary of your research project. It should be a single, well-developed paragraph that is concise and comprehensive.

  • It should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • It should explain the importance of the project, its purpose, the methodology/procedure, what was learned, and conclusions.
  • It must be understandable to those outside of your field.
  • Do not include any figures, graphs, or tables.


  • Title of project
  • Name of presenter. Include the names of additional colleagues that worked on the project, whether they are presenting with you or not.
  • Name(s) of faculty advisor/principal investigator
  • Departmental and institutional affiliations of all authors


Abstracts should:

  • Be no longer than 225 words (not including author information and institutional affiliations)
  • Not contain special characters or symbols, as they will not be displayed properly on the abstract submission form
  • Consist of text only. Include images, figures, or tables will not be accepted on the abstract submission form.


The Inter-School Board meets regularly throughout the year to review submitted abstracts. With rare exceptions, all submitted abstracts are accepted. Once an abstract is reviewed and accepted, the student presenter will be sent an email notifying them of the status of their submission, including any requested modifications.


Sample Format of Heading and Body of an Abstract

Title of Project/Presentation*
Name of student presenter and all co-authors**
Faculty Advisor Name
Department(s) and Institution(s) of all authors

Abstracts must include sufficient information for reviewers to judge the nature and significance of the topic, the adequacy of the investigative strategy, the nature of the results, and the conclusions. The abstract should summarize the substantive results of the work and not merely list topics to be discussed. An abstract is an outline/brief summary of your paper and your whole project. It should have an intro, body and conclusion. It is a well-developed paragraph, should be exact in wording, and must be understandable to a wide audience. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. An Abstract highlights the major points of the content and answers why your work is important, what was your purpose, how you went about your project, what you learned, and what you concluded.

* Titles should not include scientific notation, Greek letters, bold, italics, or other special characters/symbols, as these will not be properly displayed on the submission form.
** Include all additional co-authors, if applicable, regardless of whether they are presenting or not.

Sample Abstracts

Testing Evolutionary Brain Size Change in Bats
Lu Yao, J.P. Brown, Marco Stampanoni, Federica Marone, Karin Isler, Robert Martin
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Martin
Department of Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL; Anthropological Institute and Museum, Universität Zürich-Irchel, Zürich, Switzerland; and Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland

On an evolutionary scale, presumably due to new adaptations and generally beneficial characteristics, mammal brain size usually increases. This interpretation was challenged by Safi et al. (2005) with respect to bats. These authors proposed that evolution of the brain in different bat lineages had involved reduction as well as enlargement in brain size. However, that conclusion was based on a theoretical analysis of brain size in living bats and made no mention of the need to test it with reference to the fossil record. Furthermore, the software and test, CONTINUOUS, used to draw the conclusion was incorrectly applied to this situation. Thus, to determine whether there truly is a reduction, enlargement, or no change in the evolution of bat brains, a two-pronged approach was implemented. First, anthropometric measurements on the skulls of 44 randomly selected species of modern bats were measured in order to establish an empirical formula as a reliable means of estimating body size in fossil bats. Second, 3-dimensional images of the braincase volume in six fossil bats were generated from synchrotron scans to calculate the size of the reconstructed brains. Statistical analyses indicate bat brain sizes in the family Rhinolophidae have increased, not decreased, in size over time.



Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors of All Subclasses Induce Endothelial Dysfunction and Compromise Mitochondrial Function
Stephen Xue, Valeria Hebert, Bo Jiang, Alok Khandelwal, James Zavecz, Tammy Dugas
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tammy Dugas
Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport; Shreveport, LA

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are a critical component of highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV patients. Despite their effectiveness, however, long-term use of NRTIs leads to cardiovascular complications likely resulting from drug-induced mitochondrial toxicity. Our prior in vitro studies have demonstrated that NRTIs impair endothelial function in the vasculature, most likely through increased production of mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species. In this study, we investigated the effects of three subclasses of NRTIs: thymidine analogues like zidovudine (AZT) and stavudine (d4T), cytidine analogues such as lamivudine (3TC), and adenosine analogues like didanosine (ddI). In mice orally administered pharmacologically relevant doses of NRTIs for 4-6 weeks, endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation following acetylcholine administration and endothelium-independent relaxation by sodium nitroprusside were assessed. In addition, we determined the mitochondrial locus of injury by measuring the activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) treated with equimolar doses of NRTIs. Our in vivo data indicate that all three subclasses of NRTIs impair endothelium-dependent vasodilation, with the cytidine analog lamivudine having the most robust effect. The in vitro experiments showed direct inhibition for one or more mitochondrial complexes, and this effect was observed across all NRTI subclasses. Ongoing studies are aimed at determining the mechanism by which NRTIs mediate mitochondrial electron transport.


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