Emily Bates, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met
The academic objectives were met by the proposal. Students learned to sequence DNA and to interpret the sequence to know if there was a rare genetic change occurring in the sequence that they interpreted. Students learned to write academic abstracts, introductions, results, and conclusions in the format of an academic journal. Furthermore, together the students determined that the genetic change in a family with an inherited syndrome of birth defects was not one that had previously been identified or described.
Evaluation of the mentoring environment
As a result of the MEG proposal, we obtained essential equipment so that students could learn important molecular biology techniques in the context of real biochemical research. Several students felt that they understood the research process more fully and began to consider scientific research for a career. While I do not know how the research course impacted some of the students, several of them told me that it helped them to determine and make steps towards their career goals. Some of them are listed with their made and/or attained goals.
List of students who participated
- Irene Yeung-‐ decided to attend graduate school or become a technician
- Brian Bingham –now attending medical school
- Liz Snedecor-‐ now attending graduate school in New York
- Phillip Young-‐ now attending medical school
- Tyson Hekking-‐now attending medical school
- Michele Zabriskie-‐ accepted to medical school
- Joshua Vert-‐attending graduate school (UC Berkeley I believe)
- Chris Wilson-‐ attending medical school
- Lucas Aidukaitis, Brian Bingham, Grand Brown Samuel Dudley, Jordan Farley, Keilana Fisher (working for Miriad genetics), Brendan Leach, Zachary Lyons, Kyli McKay Bishop, Naomi Miskimins, Jeffrey Olson, Katherine Redd, Adam Rindfleisch, Spencer Ruben, Ken Schramm, Elizabeth Snedecor, Brandon Turner, Christopher Wilson, Phillip Young, Michele Zabriskie
- Donalee Chantry, Molly Clemens, Brendan Coutu, Steven Foltz, Dallin Hardy, Spender Hirschi, William Keeton, Andrew Mathis, Kenneth McGary, Steward Morley, Jeffrey Mortenson, Bradley Naylor, Brittany Nielsen, Trevor Pugh, William Scroeder, Mason Smith, Mukul Sonker, Chad Torgerson, Joshua Vert, Vajira Weerasekara, Jonathan Wright, Irene Yeung.
Academic deliverables they have produced
Many of the students used experience from this course in their applications for graduate school and medical school. Several of the students asked me to write letters of recommendation for these applications and were granted admission in part because of the research experience that they acquired in this course. Several students presented their results in the Spring student research conference at BYU.
Description of the results/findings of the project
We found that there were no previously documented rare polymorphisms (genetic changes) in any of the kindred members who were affected by the disorder. This lead to the possibility that we would discover a new gene that is important for essential developmental processes. We sequenced the whole exome of five affected members of the family and compared that sequence to members of the family who were not affected. We found an undocumented change that is predicted to affect the function of Mical2. Mical2 is important for the regulation of polymerization of actin in cells. We have since shown that knocking down the expression of that gene changes the shape of cells. We plan to test whether the LIM domain of Mical2 is necessary for differentiation and migration of cells during development. When we have these results, we plan to publish these results in an academic journal.
Description of how the budget was spent
The budget was spent buying gel electrophoresis equipment, enzymes for experiments, and sequencing reactions at the BYU sequence service center. In addition, we bought pipets and pipet tips and other consumables for the project.