Undergrad researcher takes top national prize
Peters research shows that cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining fat cells and may be important in determining fat cell size. She is working in the lab with David C. Usher, associate professor of biological sciences and assistant director of UDs Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Education Program.
Amandas work became very exciting when she found that fat cells depleted of cholesterol could not accumulate fatty acids, Usher said. He said Peters work will be publishable once she determines how cholesterol controls the accumulation.
Peters, who presented three times at the Boston meeting, said
The Undergraduate Research Program in general is a great experience, and I think it really prepares undergraduate students for what theyll have to do when theyre graduate students, so the program helps you understand whether you want to go on to graduate school.
Peters trip to the Boston meeting was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which supports undergraduate science education and pays to send students with exemplary undergraduate research to national science meetings. This is the fourth consecutive year that UD students have won prizes at the meeting.
The University of Delaware has received top awards in this competition more than any other school over the past four years, Hal White, administrator of the program on campus and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, said. In the sciences, very few undergraduates go to national meetings, and thats one of the things were trying to encourage here.
Last year, Usher said, UD sent 13 students to San Diego where they won four prizeshalf of all the prizes awarded.
White said the Hughes Institute funding paid for the students housing at the meeting and their transportation. The institute also funds the summer research program and provides a housing allowance to students who assist faculty members on projects or who research an independent project supervised by a faculty member.
Other HHMI-funded undergraduates who presented posters in Boston were Daniel Oristian and David Nation, who work in Cindy Farach-Carsons laboratory in biology, and Sarah Redding, who works in Colin Thorpes laboratory in chemistry and biochemistry.
By Kathryn Canavan
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