Research

Dr. Lea Alford awarded OU’s first research grant from National Institutes of Health

Chlamydomonas

Fluorescent imaging of Chlamydomonas.

Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Lea Alford has reached a milestone for the university biology department.

Recently, Alford was awarded an AREA grant, or R15, (Academic Research Enhancement Award) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to continue her research on the molecular assembly of cilia using the single-celled green algae, Chlamydomonas, as a model genetic system. The three-year R15 grant supports undergraduate research and is designed to strengthen the research environment of schools that have not been major recipients of NIH support. This is the first NIH funding Oglethorpe has received.

The grant will support Alford and one undergraduate researcher for the summer and fund supplies and conference travel, allowing research to be completed at Oglethorpe. This summer, Bethany Malskis ’19 will be assisting Alford with research. Malskis has previously performed work study with the biology department.

Alford wrote and submitted the grant last summer with collaborator, Dr. Pinfen Yang of Marquette University in Wisconsin. Both Alford and Yang come from the same “science research lineage,” having trained under the same researcher, Dr. Win Sale of Emory University, albeit almost 20 years apart. Funds from the grant will benefit both Oglethorpe and Marquette.

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