|Junior awarded research fellowship|
|Tuesday, April 27, 2010|
Junior Iris Chen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a national fellowship for in her research on plant biology.
A junior biology major and chemistry minor from Laurel, Md., Chen was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the American Society of Plant Biologists.
The society seeks undergraduate students conducting meaningful research in plant biology early in their college careers. Each fellowship includes $4,000 for the student and $700 for lab supplies. It also covers costs for a mentor, a travel allowance to attend the society’s national meeting and a one-year student membership.
Chen was one of 15 undergraduates from across the country to secure a fellowship this year.
Under the mentorship of Sarah Liljegren, Ph.D., from the biology department and the help of graduate students Christian Burr and Michelle Leslie from the philosophy department, Chen’s research focuses on characterizing the gene AGD6 in plants.
AGD6 is similar to genes in yeast and is associated membrane trafficking, the movement of nutrients within a cell. Chen is interested in finding out how AGD6 and another gene, NEV, are interacting together. “We think they are overlapping functionalities,” Chen said.
Chen plans to continue her summer research through a seniors honors thesis next spring. She will apply for graduate school in the fall, with the intention of pursuing a doctorate in either cellular or microbiology.