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Students Gain Research Experience Over The Summer

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The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology would like to congratulate four students who received Summer Research Funds for 2014.

Michael BarreraMichael Barrera:  Intending Microbiology Major

Project:  Better understanding the spectrin network.

Michael worked under the direction of Dr. Graham Thomas.  He also worked in the Thomas Lab over the Spring Semester.  Michael's project looked specifically at the binding of βHeavy-spectrin with α-spectrin. He was looking at an extended section of βHeavey-spectrin that contains that same helical protein sequence found in the binding site of the α-spectrin.  Michael shares, "The funds you have kindly provided will allow me to purchase necessary supplies for my project and assist with some of my other expenses this  summer."



Chang CuiChang Cui:  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

Project:  Generate the null allele of Gαf and have a plan for further genetic analysis.

Chang performed her work under the direction of Dr. Zhi-Chun Lai.  The project was to be able to generate the null allele of Gαf and have a plan for further genetic analysis. Chang writes, "this award provides me a stage to explore more on my current research and thus prepares me more for the future."

Trenten Lancaster:  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

Project:  Researching the proto-oncogene called c-Myc

Trenten worked this summer in Dr. Maria Krasilnikova's lab.  He was researching the proto-oncogene called c-Myc.  c-Myc is necessary in all cell proliferation and differentiation activities, but is also overproduced or overactive in 50% of all cancer types.  Trenten shares, "the generous donation along with both Maria's leadership and my determination will lead to the skillful execution of research undermining mysteries of the cancer cell genome."


Elizabeth GardnerElizabeth Gardner:  Biochemistry and Moleuclar Biology Major

Project:  The effects of GABAA receptor function at inhibitory synapses in the brain, and its contribution to mood disorders.

Elizabeth performed her research under the direction of Dr. Bernhard Luscher.  Her  project involved the synaptic adhesion protein neuroligin 2 and its  relationship with the GABA receptor subunit proteins.  My research thus far has provided evidence that neuroligin is indeed associated with certain GABA receptor subunits, which indicates a possible trafficking mechanism of GABA receptors to synaptic sites.  Elizabeth believes, "my research will make me a more attractive applicant, and it will more importantly provide me the hands on experience that  is so crucial to my learning style."

Congratulations to Michael, Chang, Trenten and Elizabeth!