Three years of research pays off for biology students

Five Grove City College biology students had a paper describing the results of three years of student research accepted by and published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Rachel Schmidt ’16, of Evans City, Pa., Micaela Carter ’15, of Cleveland, Ohio, Michelle Chu ’18, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Casey Latario ’17, of Groton, Mass., and Sarah Stadler 15 of Philadelphia, Pa., contributed to the project. They are credited as authors of “Heme sensing in Bacillus thuringiensis: a supplementary HssRS-regulated heme resistance system,” a paper published in the March 29 edition of FEMS (Federation of European Microbiologist Societies) Microbiology Letters.

Dr. Devin Stauff, assistant professor of biology at Grove City College, said the publication was a great accomplishment for the students and represented more than three years of continuous research in campus laboratories. He said Schmidt, who worked on the project for all three years, and her fellow researchers spent more than two years building “one of the most complex strains of bacteria that my lab has ever built in order to answer one research question,” Stauff said.

Student and faculty research is a key part of teaching and learning in Grove City College’s Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics. The work exposes students to new possibilities.

“I would never have actually known that lab work is what I want to do outside of college without the research projects I have worked on here, and the advice and mentorship of the professors. Not only have they helped me be sure of the path I want to follow, but they’ve fueled my passion and encouraged me in constructive ways to become better at what I want to do,” Latario said.

Since the College refuses all federal funding and most research is dependent on federal support, Grove City College faces a continual challenge in this area.

“It can be hard to fund research projects,” Stauff said. “Fortunately, we have some fantastic donors, especially to the Swezey Fund for Scientific Research and Instrumentation and the Jewell, Moore, and MacKenzie Fund. None of the research that we do would be possible without the generous support of donors, many of whom are GCC alumni.”

All of the student’s results were gathered at Grove City College using equipment bought with the College’s Jewell, Moore, and MacKenzie Fund. Summer research was covered by the College’s Swezey Fund.

For more information on Grove City College’s Biology Department:

Three years of research pays off for biology students

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