Jillian Reich '11, of Mendon, VT, participated in a 10-week internship with the U.S. Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, during the summer.
Reich, a biology major with a minor in education, was one of four students nation-wide selected for the Pre-Service Teacher Program, combining an extensive research project with an educational component which focused on integrating science, math, and technology in the classroom.
Reich collaborated on a research project, "Crystal Growth Optimization of Phospholipase A2 for Neutron Crystallographic Analysis," with Flora Meilleur. She says, "My focus was determining conditions that would grow large protein crystals suitable for neutron scattering, thus allowing for characterization of the protein and detailed information on its atomic structure that could be used for such medical advancements. Through my project, it is believed that I determined a new morphology of the protein I focused on, Streptomyces violaceoruber, which is still undergoing characterization." Reich also completed an education module about protein synthesis that incorporated her research into a unit geared for high school students.
She presented her research at the Undergraduate Poster Session at the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and is entered in the 2009 Science and Energy Challenge, a nation-wide science competition. In addition, Reich's research abstract is under review for publication in the U.S. Department of Energy's Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Posted: September 3, 2009