Biology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Charles Kubicek

Email Address: ckubicek@memphis.edu

Project Description: Research projects focus on the genetic manipulation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to improve their ability to make biofuels on the Lambuth Campus. Projects center around designing new strains of yeast that change the expression or modifications to the enzymes associated with biofuels. Projections will also use techniques related to assessment and optimization of the production of biofuels in a laboratory setting. In general, students will learn techniques commonly found in microbiology, molecular and biochemistry labs. Students are expected to present their work at least once a year at conferences or seminars.

Requirements for Student Applicants: A student is required to be a science major in good standing with a 3.0 GPA. Students that have taken chemistry and microbiology labs are preferred.

 Application Process: Students are required to submit a statement of intent and one letter of reference from a faculty member (preferably from a teaching lab).

Starting Date: Varies

Method of Compensation:  Volunteer hours and Academic Credit

 


Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Abell

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. Shawn Brown

Email Address:  spbrown2@memphis.edu  

Project Description:  The Brown Lab studies the relationship between microbes and the environment using cutting edge methods including metagenomics, locus-targeted high-throughput sequencing, and bioinformatics. This project investigates the impact of the 2016 Great Smokey Mountains wildfire, a high intensity fire that burned ~72km2 and resulted in numerous fatalities on soil fungal communities. High intensity burned soils, mid-intensity burned soils and non-burned soils were collected (and continue to be collected) to understand how intense fire changes fungal communities and how fire intensity affects environment and ecological resilience. Student will be trained in NGS library preparation, bioinformatics and sequence analysis and multivariate statistics.

Requirements for Student Applicants:  Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/BIO 1121). Preference given to applicants who have taken General Ecology (BIOL 3050) and who have an interest in learning advanced molecular methods, statistics, and command line sequence analysis. Preference also given to students who wish to work ~6 hours in the lab per week.

Application or Interview Process:  Applicants should contact Dr. Brown directly (spbrown2@memphis.edu) and provide unofficial transcripts and a cover letter expressing interest in this position and discuss what you want to get out of this experience.

Starting Date:  Preferred start date Fall term 2017, but alternate start dates may be entertained.
Method of Compensation:  Two hours of academic credit per semester up to a total for five credit hours. Academic credit can be obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the Faculty Mentor.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Judith Cole

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

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

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

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

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.

 


Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Matthew Parris

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

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.


Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Jaime Sabel

Email Address:  jlsabel@memphis.edu

Project Description: The Sabel lab focuses on biology education research, specifically on the use of various classroom tools and techniques in undergraduate biology courses. We use both quantitative (statistics) and qualitative (interviews and surveys) methods to investigate how students learn biology and how various aspects of courses influence student engagement and success. The goal of this work is to improve the design of biology courses to support students as they engage in learning biological concepts.

Requirements for Student Applicants: Interested applicants should apply directly to Dr. Sable at jlsabel@memphis.edu. Please include your resume and a paragraph about your research interests and career goals. 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 six hours per week in the lab.

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

Method of Compensation: Volunteer or academic credit through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission of the faculty mentor. Two to five credit hours are possible. Each credit hour is equal to three hours of laboratory time each week.


Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tit-Yee Wong

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        

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 constraints 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 of chemistry major, seniors are preferred, knowledge in biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics.


Name of Faculty Mentor : Dr. Omar Skalli 
       

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


Name of Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anyou Wang

E-mail Address: awang1@memphis.edu  

Project Description: Feinstone Center for Genomic Research has research opportunities opened immediately for self-motivated and creative students (undergraduate and graduate) to participate in our chaos biology research projects, in which the
relevant literatures will be reviewed to generate the hypotheses and novel algorithms will be developed. Students interested in mathematical theories and applications and publishing their research results in a short term are encouraged to apply.

Requirements for Student Applicants:  background in computer science, statistics, math, computational biology, bioinformatics or related fields

Application or Interview Process:  Apply via emailing your CV and a letter to describe your interests, selected interview in person

Starting Date: Immediately

Method of Compensation: Volunteer and authorship in publications