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VSU researchers make finalist list at ‘Ocean Exchange’ competition

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A group of student researchers from Valdosta State University (VSU) proudly represented South Georgia, making it to the Top 10 finalists at an event called “Ocean Exchange.”

The competition allows researchers to present innovative solutions using the ocean.

There were about 70 applicants.

VSU’s group presented their pharmaceutical aquaculture research.

The aquatic organism with many medical benefits, bryostatin, is pulled from the ocean and used to treat patients who have certain forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.

The problem is it’s very difficult to make and can cost about $20 million for one gram.

The competition allows researchers to present innovative solutions using the ocean.
The competition allows researchers to present innovative solutions using the ocean.(WALB)

What VSU does is work on a cheaper way to make it, by using the ocean to harvest it.

Students said presenting their work was exciting.

“Whenever you first walk in, you are in front of business people, investors, people who have been doing this their whole life, and we were just kind of there like, ‘yeah,’” said Jade Phillips, a biology major at VSU.

“A lot of them were engineers. We were probably the only team that was talking about pharmaceuticals and a lot of them are talking about like who we can use callop as a regenerative resource, how we can watch for omissions that boats are giving off but we were there talking about Alzheimer and how to find the compound to cure it,” said Beth Sharpe, a biology major at VSU.

The team did not win, but their research continues, paving the way for medical treatments.

VSU efforts support clinical trials in other areas.

Students said presenting their work was exciting.
Students said presenting their work was exciting.(WALB)

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