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Joshua Cade’s Parkinson’s Research Lands Honorable Mention

Joshua Cade (far left) receives Honorable Mention for Parkinson's Disease research
Joshua Cade (far left) receives Honorable Mention for Parkinson's Disease research

Biology major Joshua Cade investigated Parkinson’s Disease during an eight-week research internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and it paid off BIG.  Joshua’s outstanding poster presentation, from this work, landed an “Honorable Mention for the 2019 Exceptional Summer Student Award.”  Joshua and other student interns in the NIH National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Summer Internship Program presented their research posters in August, at the conclusion of the internship program.  Judges were taken with Joshua’s excellent presentation and quality of research depicted in his poster, which was entitled Genotype-Phenotype Correlations in Parkinson’s Disease: Retrospective Analysis of the NIH-PD Cohort.  His NIH research was sponsored by the NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program.  Read what Joshua has to say about his research experiences at NIH and at UNC Pembroke:

“I worked in Dr. Derek Narendra's lab for the duration of my internship where I completed the bulk of my project with a sort of epidemiological study of Parkinson's Disease and also some work on the bench focusing on PCR and microsatellite analysis. My final poster detailed some significant differences we found among different genetic subtypes of Parkinson's patients and their relative phenotype presented according to the extent of their illness. This was done by isolating certain information from the records of patients seen in the NIH-Parkinson's Disease Clinic. I was given an award for my poster and poster presentation, Honorable mention for Exceptional Summer Student. 

“When I am going to school here at UNCP, I have worked with Dr. Leonard Holmes and Danny Upadhyay with the bacteria Photorhabdus luminescens. I am currently working with Dr. Rachel Bleich and her work with different bacteria associated with Crohn's disease, a disease that is well known to me, as I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in high school. I plan to graduate this spring semester (2020) with my bachelor's degree. Following graduation, I have plans of applying to MD-PhD dual-degree programs for the next application cycle. I will also have to take a gap year while my applications are reviewed for medical school, and I plan on doing a post-baccalaureate program at another research institution or, possibly, the NIH in Bethesda, MD. I currently have interests in neuroscience and certain aspects of a career as a neurosurgeon. However, I am looking forward to learning how I can best apply myself to a certain specialty as I complete rounds in medical school. 

“Here on campus, I am involved with the honors college, and I serve on the council as a senior representative. I have been serving this council since my freshman year. I am involved with the HCAP club on campus and I served on the board last year as a junior representative. I was recently inducted in the National Chemical Honors Society, and I now serve as President, referred to as The Grand Master Alchemist, of the organization. I am currently a RISE fellow in my second year working as a fellow. I am also a chancellor ambassador for this current academic year."

Joshua was raised in the small town of Fuquay-Varina, near Raleigh, North Carolina.  He is completing a B.S. in Biology with a biomedical emphasis (BMED).  The Department of Biology congratulates Joshua on his excellent work at NIH and encourages him in future research and academic work in the biomedical sciences. 

The UNCP RISE Program provides Joshua, and many undergraduates like him, with out-of-classroom experiences, including faculty-mentored research, conference participation, workshops, graduate school preparation, summer internship opportunities, peer mentorship, and financial support.  RISE Fellows also have opportunities to mentor public school children -- the next generation of researchers.