Honors Program
University of Memphis Photo
Honor Student Spotlight
Meet Evan KellyMeet Evan Kelly
Meet Evan, a sophomore from Arlington, Tennessee.
Honors Undergraduate Research Videos





Course Listings

Research Opportunities

Phi Kappa Phi

Biology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Abell

Faculty Mentor's Department: Biology and Biomedical Engineering

Email address: anabell@memphis.edu

Project Description: The Abell lab uses stem cells to define the signaling/gene expression networks controlling the conversion of stationary epithelial stem cells to motile mesenchymal cells. This epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key biological process during normal development that is reactivated in several pathologies including organ fibrosis and cancer metastasis. One goal of this research is to identify novel master regulators of EMT and the reverse process MET. This information will be used in designing new strategies for regenerative medicine and the treatment of EMT related pathologies. Projects in the lab use molecular, cellular and embryological tools to identify regulators of EMT. Student projects are dependent on previous knowledge and experience, and include tissue culture of genetically altered stem cells, isolation of RNA, preparation of cDNA, measurement of gene expression changes, isolation and separation of protein, and measurement of protein levels and activity.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Interested applicants should apply directly to Dr. Abell at anabell@memphis.edu. Please include a resume and a paragraph about your research interests and goals. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121). Completion of Cell Biology (BIOL 3130) is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants interested in working at least six hours per week in the lab.

Starting Date: anytime, positions are available for summer, fall, and spring semester research.

Method of Compensation: Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend depending on level of ability and training. Two hours of academic credit up to five credit hours is possible. Academic credit is obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the faculty mentor. Each credit hour is equal to three hours of laboratory time.

____________________________________________________________________________

Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Charles Biggers

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.4468

Email address : cbiggers@memphis.edu

Project Description : These are laboratory-based research projects in genetics that utilize such techniques as electrophoresis. Recent projects have focused on the genetics of boll weevils, termites, and bagworms, all of which are widespread pests.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Judith Cole

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.1363

E-mail address : jcole2@memphis.edu

Project Description : These are laboratory-based research projects in signal transduction that utilize cultured cells and techniques such as electrophoresis, Western analysis, immunoprecipitation and ELISAs and quantitative RT-PCR to address G protein-coupled receptor and growth factor receptor mechanisms of  action. Current projects are focused on the role of PTH-dependent activation of growth factor receptors in the regulation of kidney and vascular smooth cell growth, differentiation, and gene expression.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students enrolled in Biochemistry Lab (Biology 4503). Applicants will be expected to take two credits and work at least six hours per week.

Method of Compensation : Two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. I will not take students who want just one academic credit per semester.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Lewis Coons

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.3929

E-mail address : lcoons@memphis.edu

Project Description : These are laboratory-based research projects that investigate host-tick relationships at the cell and molecular level, especially how the tick is able to control wound healing in the host and how the tick is able to recruit new blood vessels (angiogenesis) into the tick feeding lesion. Students will use a variety of preparation techniques including cell based wound-healing and angiogenesis assays. The project may include some microscopy. We have access to scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a confocal scanning laser microscope and an atomic force microscope. Students will be directly involved with research and may be involved with care of experimental animals, both ticks and hosts.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed Microbiology (BIOL 3500). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded. A minimum of three semester hours is necessary to complete a project. If any of the data generated by this research is published, your name will be part of the authorship.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Michael Ferkin

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.3509

E-mail address : mhferkin@memphis.edu

Project Description : These research projects address the role of odor cues in animal communication and regulating animal social and sexual behavior. The principle model organisms for these studies are various species of the vole, a small rodent found throughout the world. Participants will be involved in various aspects of research of these organisms, including small animal surgery and husbandry. Some projects will involve the analysis of videotape data as part of the behavioral studies, whereas others will involve basic endocrinology. Students work under the direction of doctoral students and postdoctoral candidates.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


 Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. David Freeman

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.2959

Email address : dfreemn1@memphis.edu

Project Description : These research projects address the neuroendocrine regulation of biological rhythms in animal behavior and physiology with a focus on seasonal reproduction. The principle model organism for these studies is the Siberian hamster, and participants will be involved in various aspects of proper care and research of these organisms.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed Animal or Vertebrate Physiology (BIOL 3030 or BIOL 3730). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Charles Lessman

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.2963

E-mail address : clessman@memphis.edu

Project Description : These laboratory-based research projects look into ovarian regulatory mechanisms and how they influence meiosis. The principle model organism for these studies is the zebra fish, and participants will be involved in various aspects of proper care and research of these organisms.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed Cell Biology (BIOL 3130). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Tak Nakazato

Faculty Mentor's Department :Biology

Telephone Number : 902-214-5539

E-mail address : tnkazato@memphis.edu

Project Description : I am broadly interested in causes and consequences of various evolutionary processes. Three main foci of my ongoing and future research are 1) local adaptation and ecological divergence in wild tomatoes, 2) phenotypic and genetic mechanisms involved in environmental stress tolerance in tomato species, and 3) polyploidy and genome evolution in ferns. I am addressing these issues using varoius tolls including GIS-based biogeography, plant physiological analyses, ecological studies, population genetics, and quantitative genetics.

Requirements for Student Applicants : Good academic standing, high motivation to learn and succeed.

Method of Compensation : Volunteer/Academic Credit

 ____________________________________________________________________

 Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Matthew Parris

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.4408

E-mail address : mparris@memphis.edu

Project Description : Research addresses various aspects of amphibian ecology, evolution and behavior including competition, predator-prey interactions, and the role of disease in community dynamics. Research projects might be laboratory-based or conducted in the field. Students will learn experimental design and the proper care of research animals.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed General Ecology or Evolution (BIOL 3050 or BIOL4100). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Reza Pezeshki

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.4187

Email address : pezeshki@memphis.edu

Project Description : Research addresses the physiological adaptations of wetland plants that allow them to survive various environmental stressors such as flooding, drought, and shading. Research projects might be laboratory-based, greenhouse-based, or conducted in the field. Students will use a variety of laboratory and horticultural techniques to develop experimental designs and collect data.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed General Ecology or General Botany (BIOL 3050 of BIOL 3200). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Stephan Schoech

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.2327

Email address : sschoech@memphis.edu

Project Description : Research deals with bird behavior and the role of endocrinology, physiology, and nutrition in determining bird behavior. These research projects address the role of neurobiology in understanding biological rhythms, animal behavior, and evolutionary patterns. The model organisms for many of these studies are Western and Florida Scrub-Jays. Projects fall into three categories: 1) working with the proper care and research of Western Scrub-Jays, 2) analysis and summary of field data collected on scrub-jays, and 3) participating in specific aspects of research involving graduate students and post-doctoral candidates.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed Animal or Vertebrate Physiology (BIOL 3030 or BIOL 3730). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.


Name of Faculty Mentor: Stanley E. Stevens

Faculty Mentor's Department: Biology

Telephone Number: 678-4882

E-mail address: estevens@memphis.edu

Project Description: Mechanism of motility of filaments of cells called hormogonia. Hormogonia glide over wet surfaces at velocities approaching 10 micrometers/second. They can also move through non-Newtonian gels of high viscosity. The motor appears to be a biological version of a jet engine. We seek understanding of this remarkable form of biological motility.

Second Project Description:  A few cyanobacteria have the ability to use hydrogen sulfide instead of water as electron donor to Photosystem II.  We are interested in discovering how they do this.  It is likely the mechanism will indicate the most probably evolutionary pathway from an ex-oxygenic to oxygenic photosynthesis

Requirements for Student applicants: Academic brilliance, an excellent pair of hands, and a strong work ethic.

Method of Compensation: Academic credit and satisfaction.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Tit-Yee Wong

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.4462

Email address : tywong@memphis.edu

Project Description : Applicants work on laboratory-based projects that utilize biochemistry, molecular biology, and bioinformatics techniques to analyze the flux of energy and carbon in living cells.

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121) with a grade of C or better. Special consideration will be given to students who have completed Microbiology and Microbiology Laboratory (BIOL 3500 and BIOL 3505). Knowledge of aseptic technique is essential. Basic understanding of computer programming (C++, Java, Perl and Bioperl) would be beneficial. Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : One to two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total of five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a description and the requirements of these two courses.
___________________________________________________________________

Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Andrew Liu        

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number : 678.2985

E-mail address : acliu@memphis.edu

Project Description : In mammals, circadian clocks regulate many aspects of 24-hr rhythms in behavior and physiology, and give organisms an adaptive advantage by preparing for transitions between day and night. In the natural world, the sun’s daily cycle dictates the measure of a day. However, our modern 24/7 life-styles impose external timing constrains that clash with our internal circadian physiology, often causing health problems (e.g., shift worker fatigue, sleep disorders and jet lag). My research concerns how the circadian clock is made up and run at multiple levels of circadian organization, i.e., at the molecular, cellular and tissue, as well as at the organismal level. (for more details, please see faculty and Liu lab websites)

Requirements for Student applicants : Applicants need to contact the Faculty Mentor for an interview and to determine the availability of research positions during any given semester. Applicants of junior or higher levels are preferable. Special consideration will be given to students enrolled in Biochemistry Lab (Biology 4503). Applicants will be expected to work at least three hours per week per semester for every hour of academic credit awarded.

Method of Compensation : Volunteer or academic credit

Requirements: Biology or chemistry major, seniors are preferred, knowledge in biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics.  


 Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Omar Skalli        

Faculty Mentor's Department : Biology

Telephone Number :

E-mail address : oskalli@memphis.edu

Project Description : To subclone cDNAs encoding specific domains of cytoskeletal proteins such as synemin and alpha-actinin into an eukaryotic expression vector and to express those domains into astrocytoma (brain tumor) cells in order to gain insights into the functions of these domains.  For this project, the student will learn basic molecular biology techniques such as PCR, bacterial transformation, DNA purification, agarose gel electrophoresis and ligation of DNA fragments into plasmid. Other methods that may also be used depending on the scope of the project include: tissue culture, immunofluorescence staining and confocal fluorescence microscopy.

Method of Compensation : Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend-depending on the commitment


 

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2014 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 4/2/13