Dr. Colette Daubner in her officeSt. Mary’s University Biological Sciences Professor Colette Daubner, Ph.D., recently received a $29,985 grant from the National Science Foundation to further enhance the University’s Biology curriculum.

Starting in fall 2017, the grant will fund “the implementation and assessment of a new laboratory curriculum,” Daubner said.

Daubner said the grant will help St. Mary’s students gain valuable scientific research experience early in their academic careers — all while working on something original.

“Very often, undergraduate laboratories are designed to expose students to exercises that are known to work every time,” she said. “My curriculum is truly research-based. In the Biochemistry course funded by this grant, students pick a crystallized protein of unknown function to work on, and try to identify what its function is.”

The grant also will support teaching assistant salaries, computer software to analyze protein structures, and travel costs to attend conferences.

Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, said the grant is crucial to students because it will support training them on “how to propose hypotheses, design experiments, analyze data, draw conclusions and communicate with other scientists.”

Erevelles also said resources from the grant will allow St. Mary’s students and faculty to work collaboratively with five other academic institutions: Rochester Institute of Technology, Hope College, California Polytechnic State University, Ursinus College, and State University of New York at Oswego.

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