Secondary Teacher Summer Research Experiences in Plant Genomics

Positions available: up to two

Researchers at Michigan State University extensively utilize model plant organisms to rapidly improve our understanding of plant biochemistry, cellular biology and developmental biology.

Arabidopsis is a laboratory workhorse - a small and fast growing flowering plant whose entire 29,000 gene sequence is completely known. Despite its small stature, it is an excellent stand-in for larger and economically important plants used for food, fiber and biomass. The increasingly sophisticated functional genomics toolkit available for this organism has inspired researchers worldwide to attempt what has never been done for any plant or animal - cataloguing a function for each of its genes by the end of this decade (The National Science Foundation 2010 Project).

Tomato is both an important food crop and an increasing popular model organism. It has a relatively small genome, which is currently being sequenced by an international consortium. It is a member of a very important family of plants, the solanaceae, which includes a large number of food plants.

MSU has a variety of researchers who are working to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by studying how plant cell walls (for cellulosic ethanol and oils (for biodiesel) are made. They are using genomics approaches on a wide variety of plants and microbes to achieve this goal.

What is the Plant Genomics Summer Research Program?

The summer research program consists of coordinated activities with a variety of special visitors including guest faculty, secondary school teachers, and undergraduate students. Faculty, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students will act as mentors for all visiting participants. Participants will contribute to the project by working in the laboratory alongside their mentors, participate in group meetings and activities, and attend weekly informal seminars and pizza lunches where participants and faculty will interact. At the end of the program, participants will present short research project summaries of their work to the full project team.

Participants will be placed in a participating lab, including:  

Dr. Cornelius Barry, Dept. of Horticulture
Dr. Christoph Benning, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dr. Federica Brandizzi, Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Brad Day, Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Dr. Danny Ducat, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Eva Farre, Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Maren Friesen, Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Susanne Hoffmann-Benning, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dr. Gregg Howe, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Jianping Hu, Dept. of Plant Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Ning Jiang, Dept. of Horticulture
Dr. Dan Jones, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Dept. of Chemistry
Dr. Cheryl Kerfeld, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. David Kramer, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Rob Last, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Beronda Montgomery, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Plant Research Laboratory
Dr. Katherine Osteryoung, Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Yair Shachar-Hill, Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Thomas Sharkey, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dr. Shinhan Shiu, Dept. of Plant Biology
Dr. Hideki Takahasi, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Mike Thomashow, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences and Plant Research Laboratories
Dr. Steve van Nocker, Dept. of Horticulture
Dr. Kevin Walker, Depts. of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Participant support:   Teachers will receive a stipend of $600/week.

Application requirements:

Applicants should be secondary science teachers who have a strong background in life science teaching. Applicants should submit a brief resume, a letter of reference from a mentor, program advisor, or supervisor and a 1-2 page introductory letter. The best candidates would be teachers who demonstrate a strong interest in incorporating hands-on laboratory experiences in genomics and bioinformatics into their curriculum.

Application deadline: Wednesday February 18th, 2015

Send all application materials to plantgen@msu.edu

If you have questions please contact us:

517-884-6961
plantgen@msu.edu

 

Plant Genomics @ MSU is a summer outreach program funded by a National Science Foundation
grant to Michigan State University. Did you find a bug or an error? Please let us know.


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