Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools


Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

Share this story

Two PRL grad students advocate for science on Capitol Hill

PRL graduate students, Brandon Rohnke and Aiko Turmo, were part of a MSU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) team that met with staff at the offices of Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow, Representative Slotkin and four other representatives to advocate for science funding. The February 5-7 event was sponsored by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

“Advocacy for science funding is a fundamental part of professional training in Biochemistry,” noted BMB professor and graduate director David Arnosti. “Some students will be interested in future careers in the intersection between policy and research, while others will remember the role federal programs play in science, as they develop their careers in research, teaching, and the private sector as publically engaged scientists.”

ASBMB’s experienced Director of Public Affairs Ben Corb personally accompanied the MSU group on their meetings. The studentshad the opportunity to personally describe the fundamental research supported by federal funding, while Corb introduced them to the intricacies of the budgetary process that underwrites their work.

The students expressed a shared and keen interest in science policy and advocacy and how lobbying and the legislative process work.

“I’ve been considering a career in science policy for a while now, and a trip to DC to advocate for science really highlighted how important it is to have scientists interested in science policy,” said Brandon Rohnke, who is also a member of the Montgomery lab. “I was excited the whole trip, which is encouraging as I consider a career track in the field!”

Aiko Turmo, a member of the Kerfeld lab, thought, “I learned about how science advocacy worked at the federal level. It was a great opportunity to experience an environment other than academia and meet new people with different backgrounds who were passionate about science. I appreciate Dr. Arnosti for giving us this unique opportunity. Also, I am grateful to Mr. Ben Corb from ASBMB for showing us around the Capital Hills and coaching us on how to communicate our exciting science to our legislators.

Banner image by David Arnosti. Caption: Between visits to the offices of US Senators and Representatives, Director of Public Affairs Ben Corb from the ASBMB joins MSU Biochemists on the steps of the Capitol. Aiko Turmo is second from right and Brandon Rohnke is in the back, second from right.


Top Stories

Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation

As our planet’s climate continues to be unpredictable, understanding how plants respond to adverse environmental conditions becomes essential. Improving crop productivity will be vital to feed the nine billion people estimated to be alive in 2050.

2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced 2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced

Grad student Philip Engelgau and postdoc Peipei Wang have been awarded the 2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award at a ceremony which took place on Monday, April 25, 2022. This year’s lecture was given by Professor Emeritus Govindjee from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Building 'nanofactories' to help make medicines and more [LINK] Building 'nanofactories' to help make medicines and more [LINK]

Spartan research in the lab of Cheryl Kerfeld could lead to efficient, low-cost chemical reactions for valuable products with help from teensy compartments made by bacteria.