Two PRL undergraduates win Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Departmental awards
- Dec 11, 2019
- Future Scientists, Nonfeature News Story
- By Igor Houwat
Chase Lindeboom and Hainite Tuitupou are among the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) 2019-20 undergraduate awardees. Both will earn stipends in support of their education and will officially receive their awards at the BMB Awards Banquet in April 2020.
Hainite, a senior in the lab of David Kramer, was awarded a BMB Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This award is ,”given to an [undergrad] who has attained at least junior standing, carries a 3.0 GPA or higher, and [is] committed to pursuing a career in research. These are students who want to do research, but cannot because of the need to work.”
The Kramer lab is working on understanding controls on photosynthetic controls using spectroscopy. Hainite is contributing to the development of tools and protocols for phenotyping photosynthetic parameters of plants in the field and the lab.
“The most important skill that I want to develop from pursuing research is the ability to solve problems by asking and answering questions,” Hainite says. “I want to be able to ask my own questions and answer them. The support I am receiving from my team and from this award are directly helping me to understand the skills that I need to achieve this goal.”
All of her time outside of school is spent on developing herself in combat sports. You might not know it, but she is a 4-0 amateur MMA cage fighter, president of MSUs judo club, and am in the process of qualifying for the Olympics for boxing through her home country of Tonga.
Chase is a senior in the lab of Christoph Benning. He was awarded the Outstanding Undergraudate Student Award, dedicated to senior students who have demonstrated the highest excellence in scholarship and research activities.
Chase researches a protein, called CHT7, which is thought to be involved in cell-life cycle decision making in the unicellular algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Understanding the regulatory mechanism of cell life-cycle decision making in algae has applications for engineering micro-algae for more efficient production of feedstock for biofuels.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Chase says. “I am very grateful to Dr. Benning and the rest of my lab for what they have taught me and the opportunities that I have been given. I hope I can continue to learn and grow as a scientist in the near future.
Outside of the lab, Chase is working hard on a computer science minor. When he has time, he enjoys escape rooms, hanging out with friends, and playing video games.
Congrats, Chase and Hainitie! Go here for the complete list of awardees.