Friday, May 19, 2017

Biochemistry Alumni at Montana State University

IU South Bend biochemistry 2014 graduates Angela Patterson (left) and Jac Miller (middle) independently landed at Montana State University to pursue their graduate studies. Jac followed the footsteps of Dr. Gretchen Anderson and studied enzymes involved in nitrogen fixation with Dr. John Peters. Jac earned her Master’s degree in Biochemistry and is now teaching, doing research, and bringing up her baby daughter Adelaide (in the carriage!) and her horse. Angela is an expert in mass spectroscopy and metabolomics working with Prof. Brian Bothner. She will most likely finish her Ph.D. in 2019. Gretchen Anderson (right) had a chance to catch up with both alumni as well as Dr. Jennifer DuBois, formerly at Notre Dame, and with whom Anderson spent a sabbatical leave in 2008.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Professor Muna is "Getting the Lead Out"!

Professor Grace Muna (above) is finishing her research sabbatical at Notre Dame where she is teamed with Professor Marya Lieberman (below left). They've been working on ways to detect lead in paint samples.  The picture above is a screenshot from part two of a special news report from WSBT, channel 22.  The news report can be found online here at WSBT while two videos from the report can also be found on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2 (features Muna).  This summer Muna returns to IU South Bend to continue her research with several undergraduate students.  Congratulations to Muna for making the news and contributing to such an important project. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Rizk Presents at Protein Folding Conference

Undergraduates Michele Costantino and Maggie Fink accompanied biochemistry professor Shahir Rizk to the 12th Annual Midwest Conference on Protein Folding, Assembly and Molecular Motion.  This conference is held every year at Notre Dame and attracts protein scientists from across the Midwest including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. Rizk presented work from his lab on engineered antibody fragments that can be used to modulate protein interactions in order to rescue the function of a mutant enzyme involved in cancer. The conference is a great opportunity for undergraduate students to see new areas of research and how science is communicated.

Anderson Teaches STEM at Starbase

Led by Dr. Gretchen Anderson, a class of about twenty at-risk students used their measuring and observational skills to determine just how much water a diaper can absorb. The answer is a lot more than you would think! But if there is salt in the water (normal saline concentrations) then the diapers are barely better than paper towels. Anderson helped students collect data and come to conclusions about the role of sodium ions and water in polyacrylate gels.
Special thanks to the staff and students at Starbase, a federal-sponsored program that promotes and offers education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - the STEM subjects. Starbase provides 25 hours of curriculum over 5 weeks, with various schools rotating in and out of Starbase to spark interest in STEM education and careers.