OSU students participate in STEM institute

This week a select cohort of underrepresented minority STEM students begins an exclusive leadership institute aimed to prepare participants to be leaders of diversity and inclusion in science across the country. Oregon State University will be represented with the participation of Ainur Nygmet  (undergraduate) and Susan Roberta Rowe (graduate student). The SACNAS Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI) is led by Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and funded by the Genentech Foundation. The institute, held Aug. 3 – 5 at San Jose City College, is two and a half days of leadership development workshops, networking opportunities, extensive community building, and inspirational speakers.

Integrative biology honors

Two researchers in the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Science have been selected for prestigious and highly competitive two-year National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowships.

The fellows are Allie Graham and John Sproul, who will receive funding to do research and also to develop and conduct outreach activities aimed at broadening participation of underrepresented groups in biology research.

Graham works in the lab of Felipe Barreto, and Sproul is a former member of David Maddison’s lab; he completed his Ph.D. in spring 2018 and will do his fellowship work at the University of Rochester.

Graham has been awarded $138,000 to study how coastal marine organisms cope with stressful environmental conditions, specifically situations of hypoxia – extremely low oxygen. She’ll focus on a common tidepool crustacean, the copepod Tigriopus californicus, which lives along the Pacific Coast of the United States.

Sproul has also been awarded $138,000, and his research will focus on repetitive DNA. Repetitive DNA makes up a large percentage of the total DNA in most organisms and has sometimes been called “junk DNA,” but studies show that repetitive DNA is critical to many processes. Those process include gene regulation, genome evolution, aging and disease.