Secondary Teacher Summer Research Experiences in Plant Genomics
Positions available: up to two
This program is funded by three National Science Foundation grants to participating laboratories to work on the functional genomics of Arabidopsis chloroplasts and peroxisomes, as well as the biochemistry and developmental biology of tomato glandular trichomes. 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. Christoph Benning, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular
Participant support: Teachers will receive a stipend of $600/week.
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: February 15th, 2013
Send applications to: