The rules were simple – presenters had to keep it short and sweet, allotted just four minutes to speak and an additional two minutes to take questions from the audience. Think “educational speed dating.”

It could have been daunting with such a small amount of time to explain concepts such as nanowire sensors for optoelectrical applications or hepatic transcription factors in drug disposition. But for faculty members from Missouri Southern and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences who attended the first Research Collaboration Exploration event, it was more about creating an atmosphere that opened the door for future partnerships.

“This is a new endeavor for us,” said Dr. Alan Marble, Missouri Southern’s president, during his welcoming remarks at the event held Oct. 5 in Cornell Auditorium. “We’re enjoying the partnerships we’ve had with KCU so far, and sharing our research interests can allow synergy to happen.”

Certainly, the brief presentations opened a number of doors in terms of shared interests.

Dr. Brad Creamer, associate professor of physiology at KCU, spoke about physiological changes and gene expression in steroid hormone levels. He was followed by Dr. Andrea Cullers, associate professor of kinesiology at Missouri Southern, whose research work in bone formation and recovery offered a natural complement to Creamer’s topic.

Dr. Grant Lathrom, associate professor of mathematics, talked about receiving a collection of X-ray files of patients suffering from pneumonia, and the possibility of using machine learning techniques to render a diagnosis.

Each speaker was introduced by Dr. Crystal Lemmons, professor of biology at Missouri Southern. Afterward, participants had the chance to mingle in the lobby outside the auditorium while enjoying refreshments.

“Our main goal here is to facilitate true collaboration between our faculty members,” said Lemmons.