Susquehanna University Senior Earns Research Grant
Published on July 29, 2013
Katelynn Ondek, a rising senior from Allentown, Pa., has been named a 2013 Undergraduate Research Fellow by the American Physiological Society (APS). Ondek, who is one of only 24 national winners, is pursuing research with Erin Keen-Rhinehart, assistant professor of biology, on how prenatal food restriction in rodents affects the offspring’s brain and digestive behavior later in life.
“Research offers a fascinating view into the way life works and why things happen the way they do,” says Ondek, who has been working with Keen-Rhinehart as a neurobiology lab research assistant for three years. “I find neuroscientific research especially alluring because I am captivated by the nervous system. It is something that every human shares—indeed, it is what keeps us alive and makes us who we are—and yet we know relatively little about it. It is very exciting to consider that the work I have been doing may unravel some of those mysteries and allow people to have better lives.”
“Katelynn excels at pretty much everything she touches,” says Keen-Rhinehart. “She’s not only just really smart, but she’s also responsible and independent. She’s self-motivated and creates her own experiments. In her four years here, she has matured into a great scientist.”
Ondek will receive a $4,000 stipend to cover living expenses during the 10-week fellowship, as well as an additional $1,300 in travel funds to present her research at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego, Calif., which is expected to attract nearly 14,000 scientists from around the world.
“The most rewarding part of my research is knowing that I have an amazing opportunity that few undergraduates share,” says Ondek. “It is wonderful that I am able to get hands-on laboratory experience within my field of interest because it has taught me many useful skills and has helped shape my goals for my future.”