Overall Winning Student Scholarship Paper

by Sophia Walsh and John Murphy

It was announced at the ISRC Fall Conference 2019, that the overall winning Student scholarship submission was authored by a student from the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne campus and won the coveted Bob Glass Memorial Scholarship. Sophia Walsh was the recipient and she penned a wonderful document. It is entitled “The Lung Microbiome and COPD” and can be found online at the ISRC Cloud space. A link appears after this abstract reprint.


The human microbiome is integrally related to human health. The lungs, which until recently were considered sterile, in fact have their own rich microbiota. The specific floral make-up differs depending on the presence of disease and the disease state. Within the last few years important studies and experiments have been conducted using new and improved techniques. This has enabled researchers to identify trends in microbial makeup that vary with disease state. This research also highly suggests that changes in the microbiota have a causal role in increasing the severity of the state of COPD and COPD exacerbations. This implies that treatment can and should take into account the microbial phenotype of a patient’s lungs, as this has implications for what treatments could be most effective. Although the field is promising, the research is still in its early stages and there are many unanswered questions.

Read the full paper.