Two PRL students win first prize at UURAF 2019

  • Apr 19, 2019
  • future scientists, awards, Sharkey lab, Ducat lab
  • Future Scientists, Nonfeature News Story
  • By Igor Houwat; Banner image of UURAF 2019 by Trumpie Photography

Madeline Bresson from the Sharkey lab and Jacob Wright from the Ducat lab have won first prize at the 2019 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF). Both students were recognized for their poster presentations on their research.

The UURAF gives MSU undergrads the chance to present their work in a public setting, which allows them to gain presentation experience, interact and answer questions from audience members, and receive feedback from judges. The best presenter in each category was awarded $100.

Jacob’s research focuses on a bacterial microcompartment shell protein. It is a potential source of biomaterial to engineer nano-sized scaffolds. The current research is examining how to efficiently recruit cargo onto the surface of these scaffolds. The long term goal is to use these scaffolds as a way to reengineer biochemical processes that occur inside of living cells.

Jacob Wright
Jacob Wright presenting at the UURAF
Courtesy of Jacob Wright.

“The opportunity to present such exciting work is something I’m always happy to take advantage of,” Jacob says. “But the best part of the UURAF experience is to explore research outside of your own field, and there was such diverse research that I had the pleasure of learning about. I find there is always a need for us, as researchers, to step outside our areas of expertise, as ideas from other fields allow us to see our own work from alternate perspectives and generate enthusiasm and inspiration in our own work.”

Madeline is examining a hypothesis stating that leaf sucrose export is critical for pollen development under conditions of high temperature stress. Her lab has identified a new gene that potentially plays a role in the process. The long term goal is to generate heat tolerant plants, either through traditional breeding or transgenic approaches.

Madeline Bresson
Madeline Bresson with her poster
By Trumpie Photography, 2019.

“I am earnestly grateful for the recognition for the work I have done and am extremely proud to achieve this honor,” Madeline says. “I could not have achieved this success without the guidance, help, and support from everyone in the lab. Preparing for UURAF allowed me to fully immerse myself in my research and learn how to design a research poster. By presenting at UURAF, I have learned how to effectively present my research in a more concise manner. I enjoyed the opportunity to display the fascinating research that I am doing and to learn about additional exciting research being performed at MSU.”

Congratulations to both!