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Back Results for: Undergraduate

When a student’s pride in their work lives on

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Andrew Oh was drawn to the Wikipedia assignment even before taking Dr. Joan Strassmann’s class at Washington University in St Louis. “In fact, I signed up for the class because its course listing description talked about how we’ll be writing for Wikipedia,” Andrew tells us in an interview. “No other class on the listing had a description remotely similar, and I was curious as to what exactly we would be writing on. I was excited!”

Nikhil Aggarwal wins 2020 Quatrano Prize

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Nikhil Aggarwal, a senior majoring in the neuroscience track of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2020 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize.

Lily Xu wins 2020 Stalker Award

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Lily Xu has been awarded the 2020 Harrison D. Stalker Award from the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Manasvi Verma wins 2020 Spector Prize

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Manasvi Verma, a senior majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2020 Spector Prize.

Biology undergrad Ethan Weiner talks about Bio 500 research in the Haswell Lab

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Since spring semester of my sophomore year, I have had the privilege of working in Dr. Haswell’s lab. Her lab studies the ways in which plants respond to mechanical stimuli.

Bio 4492: Infectious diseases: history, pathology, and prevention course to refocus on COVID19 in fall 2020

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This fall, you can take advantage of an opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to real life current events. Bio 4492: Infectious Diseases: History, Pathology, and Prevention, an upper level, writing intensive class, will be modified in fall 2020 to focus on pandemic disease in general and SARS-CoV-2 in particular.

Seniors trade pipettes for Zoom in their last semester of college

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In the first week of March, seniors enrolled in Microbiology Lab entered the laboratory in Rebstock Hall. They had to attend a few more classes before they could leave for their well-deserved spring breaks. Maggie Schlarman, who teaches Microbiology Lab, had them continue experiments that would incubate over the break. In a week and a half, they would return to campus and analyze the results. But they would never return.

Four College of Arts & Sciences students named Goldwater Scholars

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Congratulations to our biology undergrad winners of the Goldwater Scholarship!

Video series ‘WashU Between the Lines’ launches in time of uncertainty: Students Gupta, Mather hope series sparks honest conversations

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The plan was set. Washington University in St. Louis students Shelly Gupta and Rory Mather would launch their video campaign, “WashU Between the Lines,” after spring break. They hoped the series — deeply personal stories of uncertainty and hope, failure and resilience — would encourage students to know each other, as we say at Washington University, by name and by story. And not just the stories posted on Instagram or Facebook.

Arts & Sciences staff come together to support remote teaching transition

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Arts & Sciences staff have been essential to moving classes online in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, often embracing new roles and working across units to build training modules and support systems for faculty who are now teaching remotely.

Biology community comes together to share thoughts, concerns about COVID-19

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On March 4, 2020, members of the Department of Biology came together to share their stories, feelings, and concerns surrounding the spread of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the spread of fear, racism, and xenophobia related to COVID-19 disease.

Major love stories

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Six Arts & Sciences students shared how they found and fell in love with their chosen areas of study.

Register to Vote for the Presidential primaries

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Are you registered to vote? The presidential primaries are happening on 3/10/20. The deadline to register is Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Not sure how to register? No problem! Wustl.turbovote.org will guide you through the process whether you are registering in your home state, here, or you need an absentee ballot because of spring break.

Course Spotlight: Student Experience with Bio 472 Behavioral Ecology

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I took Dr. Strassmann’s Behavioral Ecology class last semester, during the fall. Among other assignments and activities, the class is structured on writing Wikipedia articles for a selected category of animals. We work to select, research, and write about species that have incomplete or nonexistent Wiki entries. This year, we worked on Diptera (aka flies).

Faculty Spotlight: Michael Landis, Assistant Professor of Biology

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Michael was attracted to Washington University because of its bright students, its superb biology department, and its close ties to other regional research institutions. During his time studying at Yale, he learned about the Missouri Botanical Garden, a global leader in botanical research and systematics, and the Living Earth Collaborative at Wash U, a new consortium that fosters collaborations between St. Louis institutions to research issues surrounding biodiversity. Michael joined the department last fall and is setting up his lab. His group is interested in learning how evolutionary processes behave and how Earth's biodiversity has changed over time.

Bio 500 Spotlight on Budge Lab by Irene Hamlin

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My time in the Budge Lab has been incredibly transformative and has sparked a love for research and scientific inquiry. The Bio500 research mentors are truly invested in the success of their students and create a welcoming environment to work in. Independent research gave me the opportunity to take charge of my education and assume a more active role in the scientific community.

Graduating senior to stay in St. Louis, expand nonprofit

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The advice was simple and blunt: “Stop stressing out and focus on what you love.” Washington University in St. Louis senior Harsh Moolani was skeptical. As a pre-med student, Moolani believed he needed to pack his resume with clubs, activities and academic accolades. Then he considered the source: a remarkable woman with a successful career, good friends — and a few months to live. The two had become close at a local hospice, where Moolani was a volunteer and she was dying of Parkinson’s disease.

WUSTL ENDURE Neuroscience Pipeline Program

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“Science has its own culture, language and unspoken norms that are hard to understand and navigate. When you do not understand that culture, it makes the already difficult journey to becoming a scientist harder. I did not want other students to have that difficulty or to have it dissuade them from pursuing a scientific career. As the ENDURE program coordinator, my goal is to help students both understand scientific concepts and culture, while encouraging them to change it to reflect all scientists” (Diana José-Edwards, WUSTL ENDURE Program Coordinator).

Getting to know Tyson's plant disease research team

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As a member of the science communication team led by Suzanne Loui, lecturer in environmental studies, recent graduate Christian Fogerty and I developed projects to identify methods to best communicate the research happening at Tyson. Both of us shadowed a different research team in order to document and express the human elements that make their scientific work possible. I had the privilege of embedding with the plant disease team, led by Rachel Penczykowski, assistant professor of biology. I worked in the field with the team every day for two weeks while taking notes and capturing photos and video footage.

Stan Braude: Stories from the Classroom

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Stan Braude, professor of the practice of biology, was awarded the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. Braude is ever deserving of this award – an award he is receiving because he was nominated by numerous students. The impact he has had on the students he has taught and mentored over the years is impossible to measure. Read some of their stories.

Interning local: Universal experience, valuable skills Undergraduates find meaningful summer work in our own backyard

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Tyson Research Center, Washington University’s environmental research station, is 20 miles west of the Danforth Campus. Past a monitored steel gate and over a mile through the woods, that’s where Kayla Mans, a rising junior majoring in environmental policy in Arts & Sciences, worked this summer to strengthen the science communications skills of St. Louis-area high school students. Mans chose the major because she likes writing and getting involved in environmental issues. She spent her days at Tyson teaching in the Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships (TERF) program, which places high school students as apprentices in university-based environmental biology research.

Undergrad Maya Samuels-Fair wins Goldwater Scholarship

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Three Washington University in St. Louis students have received the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship, which honors students who conduct research in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Maya Samuels-Fair, a biology major in Arts & Sciences, with an emphasis on ecology and evolution, is a Nemerov Scholar and plans to conduct research across ecosystems, curate a field museum collection and write about conservation for popular audiences.

Two students will join the Bose Lab this summer through US Army funding

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High school student Aiyana Evers and Wash U undergrad Grace Choi will join the Bose Lab this summer for research funded by the US Army.

Mather wins Harrison D. Stalker Award

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Mather is majoring in biology, in the neuroscience track, in Arts & Sciences, with a minor in electrical engineering. His main research interests are systems neuroscience, brain dynamics and control, and signal processing. Mather conducted his thesis work, titled “Understanding the Breadth and Genetics of the Dictyostelium-Burkholderia Symbiosis,” under the direction of Joan Strassmann, the Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology. Outside of the laboratory, Mather was active as a contributing reporter for Washington University’s Student Life newspaper. He served as vice president of public relations and public relations team manager for the Washington University Student Union.

Hsu wins Spector Prize

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Hsu’s thesis was titled “Astrocytic Degeneration in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.” Reviewers praised his work for the design of the experiments, the technical excellence with which they were carried out and the incisiveness of Hsu’s interpretation of results.

Chin wins Quatrano Prize

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Chin’s research identifying the genetic networks that regulate complex social decision-making behaviors in insects stood out among this year’s nominees, evaluators said, in part because it yielded unexpected results. Her thesis was titled “The contribution of Williams Syndrome-related genes to Drosophila social behaviors uncovers an evolutionarily conserved genetic toolkit underlying animal sociality.”

Congratulations to Neuroscience Track major Sabrina Wang on the Switzer Leadership Award!

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Wang, who is majoring in both biology-neuroscience and in international and area studies, both in Arts & Sciences, serves as executive director for the Washington University Political Review, working to encourage civic engagement on campus. She worked with the Assembly Series to plan an event focused on journalistic truth in the digital age. Additionally, she works as the health clinic chair for Partners in East St. Louis, a campus service organization that provides volunteer support to East St. Louis institutions.

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Maya Dutta on the Olsen Lab

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Adaptation to local environments is critically important for a plant’s ability to survive in a variety of ecological settings and persist in the face of climate change. The genetic and physiological mechanisms that regulate these processes, however, are not well known. In the Olsen Lab, we aim to understand the genetic basis of evolution in plants. We are specifically interested in understanding how genetic variation within a species is shaped by natural selection, population history, and other various evolutionary forces.

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Mitchell Grinwald on the Chheda Lab

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My work in the Chheda lab as a Bio500 independent research student has given me a fantastic opportunity to explore my interests at the intersection of epigenetics and cancer biology. Additionally, the ability to conduct independent research with the exceptional support which my PI (Dr. Chheda) and bench mentor (Dr. Galdieri) provide has enabled me to learn new techniques and think critically about experimental design and analysis. The hands-on application and extension of classroom concepts in a lab setting has been extremely valuable to my learning process. Through my research experiences, I have learned a great deal about translational research and am now considering a career as a physician-scientist.

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Samuel Kim on the Kummer Lab

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Though I originally arrived at WashU set on attending medical school, my experience in the Kummer lab through Bio 500 and the interactions with my professors and valued mentors have led me to reconsider. I am grateful to have realized that research is a stimulating process of continual growth that I want to pursue as a career, and I am hopeful for the findings that our generation of neuroscientists will discover about the complex organ that makes us human.

Solitary confinement is an unjust system

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In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 87,000 people across the nation are in some form of solitary confinement. This becomes a significant problem upon realizing that not only do prolonged stays in solitary confinement cause significant neurological issues, but Black and Brown persons are placed in these conditions at alarmingly disproportionate rates across the United States in comparison to white inmates.

Girls must learn to see themselves as scientists

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"We must encourage interest in science and math subjects without surprise or foreboding and empower young girls to pursue these interests in multiple facets of their academic and extracurricular lives. If we can connect young girls’ aptitude for STEM subjects to their personal ability to succeed in these fields in the future and share our hope to increase numbers of women in STEM, they will hear how much their talents are needed."

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Kevin Yin on the Rentschler Lab

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In the Rentschler lab, we aim to address heart disease by looking at how developmental pathways and gene regulation networks are associated with various heart diseases. We are specifically interested in how alterations of genes during development or in the adult can lead to arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Getting to know the humans of Tyson

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As Tyson Humanities Fellows, Kit Lord and Hayley Huntley spent three months at the university's environmental field station, embedding with the Tyson community to explore the human side of science. After conducting hundreds of hours of interviews, the fellows, led by environmental humanities lecturer Suzanne Loui, profiled the people who make Tyson a thriving research ecosystem. Here, Lord details their collaborative interview project, Humans of Tyson.

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Benjamin French on the Elgin Lab

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I have been working in Dr. Elgin’s lab for the past two and a half years to analyze the characteristics of an unusual chromosome in Drosophila (fruit flies). The fourth chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster is unusual because this tiny chromosome is almost entirely heterochromatic yet contains about 80 protein-coding genes. In the Elgin lab, we use a combination of DNA manipulation experiments done in the wet lab and bioinformatic analyses done on the computer to identify factors that enable the expression of fourth chromosome genes within a mostly heterochromatic domain.

Bio 500 Research Spotlight: Hannah White on the Perlmutter Lab

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Joel Perlmutter’s lab has many different projects, most of which are focused on the development of new PET radiotracers for Parkinson disease. My project in the lab is to study a non-human primate model of Parkinson disease, and the effects of a new drug, Carboxyfullerene (C3), on neurotransmitter levels and dopaminergic cells in different regions of the brain.

Funding to support the Amgen Scholars Program at Washington University in St. Louis has been renewed

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Amgen Foundation Deepens Commitment To Aspiring Scientists Worldwide By Expanding Amgen Scholars Program. Through a new $21 Million, Four-Year Investment, Amgen Scholars Program to Reach Additional 1,500 Undergraduates. Nearly 4,000 Undergraduates From More Than 700 Colleges and Universities Have Participated to Date. Alumni Pursuing Advanced Scientific Degrees and Careers Across the U.S. and Globe

Faculty Spotlight: Joseph Jez, Biology Chair

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Joseph Jez began his work with the Biology Department ten years ago as an assistant professor. He is now Professor of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and as of July 1, 2018 the Biology Department Chair. We sat down to talk about the changes he’s witnessed over the last decade as well as what he would like to see in the future.

Interview with undergrad Daniel Berkovich about the American Society of Plant Biologists SURF

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"I am motivated to conduct my research not only because I find it personally interesting, but because it grants me the privilege to contribute to the greater scientific community."

In sync: How cells make connections could impact circadian rhythm

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Li also collaborated with Erik Herzog, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University who studies the cellular and molecular basis of circadian rhythms in mammals

A path to diversity in neuroscience

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ENDURE fosters community in undergraduate research

Student Spotlight: Ali Wilkening receives award from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

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Joe Jez, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, nominated Wilkening for the award.

Haussler wins Harrison D. Stalker Award

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Emily Haussler has been awarded the 2018 Harrison D. Stalker Award from the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Chen and Wang share Quatrano Prize

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Alex Chen and Yixi Wang, seniors majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences, have been awarded the 2018 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize.

Jordan Shaker receives this year's Spector Prize

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This year’s recipient is Jordan Shaker. His thesis, titled “Endogenous Opioidergic Circuits Involved in Thermoregulation,” won praise for the experiments’ design, the technical excellence with which they were carried out and Shaker’s incisive interpretation of results.

One Undergrad's Experience in Shanghai with the Global MedPrep Scholars Program

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Maya Chan is third-year undergraduate student fulfilling a Biology Major and Anthropology Minor. Last fall semester, she studied abroad in Shanghai, China through the Global MedPrep Scholars Program.

Faculty Spotlight: Jonathan Losos

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Read about Jonathan's background and his new collaboration with MOBOT and the STL Zoo.

Four Biology Students Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

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Congratulations 2018 Bunche Scholars!

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Congratulations to our biology majors who will be recognized at the annual James E. McLeod Honors and Awards Ceremony as 2018 Ralph Bunche Scholars.

Becoming a biotech explorer

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Three years after launching the Biotech Explorers Pathway, a unique opportunity for first-year and sophomore students, biology professor Joe Jez shares how the program started and some of what its students have accomplished so far.

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