Five undergraduate researchers at Bond LSC were awarded arts and sciences scholarships to help them continue their education. Congratulations to each of the winners.
Wade Dismukes started his career as an undergraduate researcher at Bond LSC in Dr. Jack Schultz’s lab almost four years ago. He started out studying how plants, specifically grape vines, reacted to being eaten by insects, specifically phylloxera. About two years ago, he joined Dr. Chris Pires’ lab in order to learn to read a transcriptome, which is a way of looking at all the genes an organism expresses, Dismukes said. A senior with one year of school left, Dismukes is double majoring in math and biology. He plans to go to graduate school and eventually become a research scientist. He’ll stick to plant science, he said. Dismukes credits his interest in science to good mentors.
MU junior Nathan Coffey thought he would study physical therapy. Then, he tore his ACL playing soccer. He became interested in medicine and switched majors to biological sciences. He has been an undergraduate researcher in Dr. D. Cornelison’s lab since his sophomore year. This summer, he will intern at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Md., where he will work on a research project. Currently, he researchers how different types of muscle work within the human body. Coffey says he would like to pursue an MDPhD so he can become a research physician once he finishes his bachelor’s degree.
MU junior Kevin Bird said a heart defect he was born with made him interested in genetics from a young age. Now, the biology and philosophy major works in Dr. Chris Pires’ lab to understand the genetics behind why Brassica rapa — a species that include napa cabbage, mizuna, turnips, bok choy and field mustard — is nutritious. He uses genomics and quantitative genetics to conduct his research. Bird said he wants to continue to study plant genetics in a doctoral program and eventually become a professor so he can teach and research plant molecular evolution and systems biology.
Morgan Seibert has been interested in science since she was kid, farming with her father. The Mu sophomore currently studies rhabdomyosarcoma, the type of skeletal muscle cancer that occurs most often in children, alongside Dr. D. Cornelison and a graduate student. Seibert plans to continue researching independently throughout the summer and fall. Her research in the coming months will focus on the role of receptors known as Ephs and ephrins in the nuclei of cancer cells. The research may lead to new treatments for cancer. Seibert said she hopes to either go to medical school or continue her research in graduate school.
MU undergraduate Badr Almadi, a researcher in Dr. Anand Chandrasekhar’s lab could not be reached for an interview or photograph. He is also a winner of an arts and sciences scholarship.