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Robert L

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Molecular Biology, Immunology, Virology, Biochemistry, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19), Protein Structure Prediction

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Lessons from the past: repurposing old tools for researching SARS-CoV-2

A very large barrier to understanding how viruses complete their replication cycles is lacking in the tools needed to study them. While virologists and molecular biologists have been developing tools for well-characterized pathogens for years, new viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 continue to emerge and pose enormous threats to our health and well being. This project would aim to educate a student on how to read and process primary scientific literature, with the goal of identifying tried-and-true methods and tools that have been used to understand other viruses, and propose methods for them to be repurposed to study this novel, pandemic causing virus. The end product would be the generation of detailed protocols for the creation of these tools to assist in the research of this deadly pathogen.

Intersections of Science and Art: Curatorial Story Telling

Science and art are inextricable from one another; colors behave the laws of physics, conservators are modern day alchemists practicing chemistry to preserve masterpieces, and our personal response to art is governed by the sensory systems that we use to interact with the world. This project would allow the student to develop a story to be told through a unique scientific lens. The student will use this lens to juxtapose, compare, contrast, and critically analyze a set of works of art. The student will then curate an online exhibit and learn the planning and execution process inside and out: conducting research on the chosen pieces, writing object labels, participating in critical analysis, and dictating how the public will interact with the exhibit at large are all aspects that will be explored in-depth.

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