This August saw the completion of another successful year of our Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Ten students from across the country came to Marquette to conduct research with our faculty. Students were recruited nationally and funded by our NSF REU site on Cellular and Molecular Biology, or by the College of Arts and Sciences, the department, and faculty research grants. The NSF funded portion of the program targets students who are members of minorities currently underrepresented in the sciences, and students from colleges or universities with limited research opportunities. To fund Marquette students, we have established an endowment. If you are interested in learning more about the endowment, and supporting undergraduate research in our department, see: Biology Student Research Endowment Fund.
The students spent ten weeks in the labs with their faculty mentors directing their own research projects and participating in lab meetings. Research projects included a wide range of topics, including flagella in Chlamydomonas, the locomotor network in the lamprey hindbrain, antibiotic resistance, and microbial diversity on dental materials. The abstracts to all of the student’s projects can be found on the Summer Research Program Website. In addition to lab work, the students participated in journal clubs examining current research and workshops on research ethics, graduate school admission and career options. The program culminated with presenting the results of their research at both a department-wide poster session and a research symposium. Pictures of some of the participants and activities from the summer are on the departmental Facebook page.
We are proud to announce this fall’s seminar schedule, which is made possible by the support of the Scholl Endowment. Each semester, eminent scientists are invited to our department to deliver these seminars, and our students have ample opportunity to engage these scientists in individual or group conversation. This semester, our speakers include Dr. Richard Maraia from the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Lawrence Marnett from Vanderbilt University’s Department of Chemistry. Distinguished Milwaukee scientists Dr. Ching-Hong Yang from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Dr. Matthew Hodges from the Medical College of Wisconsin will be presenting seminars on functional genomics and respiratory physiology. We are also proud to present four seminars given by Marquette faculty. Seminars are held at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays throughout the fall. If you are in the Milwaukee area, we hope you will join us.
The Biological Sciences Advisory Board met on April 20, 2012 and began by welcoming two new board members: Dr. Joan Bathon (MU Alumni 1974) Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Columbia University Medical School in New York, and Ms. Claire Ruzicka (MU Alumni 1982) of Ruzuicka Consulting Services, Milwaukee WI. As part of our initiative to increase translational research, Dr. Martin St. Maurice presented a talk on X-Ray crystallography and its use to determine molecular structure. Martin’s research on protein structure has promise for ultimately identifying drugs that could up and/or down regulate clinically important enzymes. The meeting also discussed the importance of developing good scientific writing skills for both undergraduate and graduate students. There was considerable discussion of the importance of research notebooks, and their need to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The notebook needs to be complete providing the overall picture such that experiments could be repeated based on what is written in the notebook. The meeting concluded with a discussion of the development of a scientific writing course. The next board meeting will be held on Friday October 26th.