Erin Vrana, Caroline Steingard and Kokila Shankar each received the ASM Undergrad Research Fellowship
2016 April 21 - The American Society for Microbiology's 2016 Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ASM-URF) have been awarded. The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) strives to afford this opportunity to the best and brightest rising young scientists that wish to pursue a career in microbiological research. Students will have the opportunity to conduct full time summer research for a minimum of ten weeks.
Erin Vrana, a Junior majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, is working with faculty mentor Dr. Scott Lindner and graduate student mentor Mike Walker, and is studying an RNA-binding protein thought to be important to transmission of the malaria parasite.
Caroline Steingard, a Sophomore Biology major, is working with faculty mentor Dr. Tim Miyashiro, studying how microbial symbioses originate, develop, and co-evolve by using as a model system, the symbiosis between the Hawaiian Bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes and the bacterium Vibrio fischeri. Her work on the establishment of polyclonal infections within the host will lead to a model for studying polyclonal infections that can provide insight into the microbial populations found within more complex symbiotic interactions.
Kokila Shankar, a Biology major, is working with faculty mentor Dr. Moriah Szpara, studying variation in herpes simplex virus infection for her senior thesis. Herpesvirus affects a significant majority of the global population, and understanding the mechanisms of viral variation can provide insight into the mechanisms of infection, potentially leading to better in vitro research models.
Erin, Caroline and Kokila will be attending the 2017 ASM Microbe Meeting to present their work.