Dr. Margaret Young and her colleague Dr. Gloria Payne (Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs) were recently awarded a grant of $399,719 (for 3 years) by the National Science Foundation Targeted Infusion Project. The overall goal of the proposal: Stem: PipeLine for Plant Sciences, is to enhance plant biology at Elizabeth City State University, a constituent institution of the UNC system.  This proposal seeks to increase plant awareness (demystify plants), and diversify the career opportunities available to future scientists.    The proposal will introduce semester long CUREs (course-based undergraduate research experiences) into two required courses in biology.  These CUREs will focus on real-world problems in tissue culture and molecular transformation (one of the bottlenecks to crop improvement strategies).   Students will also be introduced to hierarchal mentoring and self-regulated strategies to improve performances in these courses.  Selected students will continue their research experiences at ECSU and attend summer internships at research-intensive universities.   Faculty expertise in pedagogy and cutting-edge plant engineering techniques will be improved by attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences.  By bringing noted plant scientists to campus to interact with the community, the grant will elevate the awareness of plants, and the field of plant sciences as viable career options.   Dr. Young is also the Director of Undergraduate Research.
Phillip Song, a second-year Osteopathic Medical student at Midwestern University, won second place for his poster presentation titledRole of Leptin and its Receptor in the Protective Effects of HSP70 against Diet-Induced Obesity” at the 2019 OMED Meeting (Baltimore, MD). Mae Ciancio, Ph.D., (Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL) served as Phillip’s faculty research mentor.
Kristina Martinez-Guryn, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL) published the review article titled “Regional Diversity of the Gastrointestinal Microbiome” in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Martinez-Guryn K, Leone V, Chang EB.  Regional Diversity of the Gastrointestinal Microbiome. Cell Host Microbe. 26:314-324, 2019. Use the following link to read the abstract for this publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31513770.