The Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Mississippi INBRE) co-hosted the 2ndannual Mississippi IDeA/EPSCoR Conference 2023 (MIEC23) in conjunction with the Mississippi Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (Mississippi EPSCoR) on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the Thad Cochran Center on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. The meeting was a successful sequel to last year’s inaugural meeting, with an excess of 600 attendees and over 150 research presentations in oral and poster format. Building further on last year’s meeting structure, MIEC23 hosted both STEM and public health disciplines. The combination of these two rarely-integrated research areas creates a pipeline from traditional, lab-based research into real-world public health solutions. This integration helps to build a workforce that will be able to address the overall health of Mississippi’s communities.

MIEC23 featured scientific presentations ranging from cell biology to advanced materials research to public health. Attendees joined from nearly every institution of higher education in the state and the Mississippi State Department of Health. Key presentations were those by John-David Swanson, PhD, Director of NSF EPSCoR, Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney, M.D. and Dr. Thomas Dobbs, M.D., former Mississippi State Health Officer. These speakers discussed building a bright future for Mississippi through supporting research and improving public health.

The meeting also provided a stimulating opportunity for students. In addition to nearly all oral sessions being presented by graduate students, the student poster session allowed high school students, undergraduates, graduates and post-doctoral students the opportunity to present their research in an environment conducive to scientific discovery and collaboration.

“We are very pleased to host the Mississippi IDeA/EPSCoR meeting each year. With such a wide range of disciplines represented, ideas exchanged at conferences such as this are exactly what a state like ours needs to address the health of its citizens. The enthusiasm we see in the students paints a bright picture for Mississippi’s future workforce,” states Alex Flynt, PhD, Program Director of Mississippi INBRE.


Dr. Sarah Morgan, Science Director of the Mississippi EPSCoR Center for Emergent Molecular Optoelectronics (CEMOs), further explains, “MIEC23 provided an excellent opportunity for scientists across the state to share research advancements. Students were exposed to multiple disciplines and heard from NSF and Mississippi scientific leaders. It’s a great way to build the Mississippi research network.”

Mississippi INBRE is proud to support Mississippi research faculty and students through MIEC23. Mississippi’s top research and public health issues can only be solved by working cooperatively, and MIEC23 represents a major step forward in bringing the state’s top minds together to solve these issues.

See photos from the conference.

Congratulations to all who placed in the poster competition:

First Place

John Searles, The University of Southern Mississippi

Second Place

Sarah Crowsey, William Carey University, The University of Southern Mississippi

Third Place

Makenzie Havard, University of Mississippi

Fourth Place

Astra Hahm, University of Mississippi

Fifth Place

William Bristow, Itawamba Community College