Title - 0 35337

Biology Student Earns Research Fellowship

Published on September 22, 2010

SELINSGROVE—Tiffany Becker, a junior majoring in biology at Susquehanna University, has earned an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Among 81 total applicants, Becker was one of 13 students who were chosen as fellows from small liberal arts colleges.

The fellowship is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers in microbiology. Fellows have the opportunity to conduct full-time summer research at their institutions with ASM mentors and, if their abstracts are accepted, present their research results at the 111th ASM general meeting in New Orleans, La. Each fellow receives a stipend of up to $4,000, a two-year ASM student membership and reimbursement for travel expenses to the general meeting.

Becker is working at Susquehanna with mentor Tammy Tobin, professor of biology, on a research project titled “Characterization of thermophilic actinomycetes present in soils overlying the Centralia, Pa., mine fire.” According to Tobin, they are isolating and identifying new species of heat-loving bacteria from soils overlying the Centralia mine fire, with the hope that these bacteria will make novel, heat-resistant antibiotics or other important bioproducts.

“This project is a real honor for Tiffany, and I am very proud of her success,” Tobin said. “Tiffany will be able to travel to this large [ASM] meeting with approximately 10,000 attendees from all over the world and present the results of her work to the very top folks in the discipline. She will get to attend talks and poster sessions that cover every field of microbiology, and meet a bunch of very talented peers.”

“Receiving this fellowship means a great deal to me, because it validates all the hard work I've done since arriving at SU,” Becker said. “I know I'm making my family, friends and former teachers proud, which feels wonderful.”

The American Society for Microbiology, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization, with more than 40,000 members worldwide. More information on the fellowship is available at http://www.asm.org/students.

Karen M. Jones


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