Mount Mercy professor and student selected for UI FUTURE in Biomedicine program

Mount Mercy University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Joseph Nguyen, Ph.D. has been selected as one of six Fellows of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Nguyen, together with Mount Mercy sophomore Molly First, will spend two months this summer engaged in an intensive research experience in the laboratory of Richard Roller, Ph.D., UI professor of microbiology. They will be characterizing essential assembly interactions of herpesvirus. The work is critical to helping scientists better understand the most efficient way to treat viral infections.

"The FUTURE in Biomedicine program is an excellent opportunity for Mount Mercy because it enables me to learn the latest research and share it with my students," says Nguyen.

"I am looking forward to exploring how research is conducted outside of a classroom laboratory environment," says First, a biology major from Monticello, Iowa. "I am very excited to be a part something that will help improve the practice of medicine!"

The FUTURE (Fostering Undergraduate Talent - Uniting Research and Education) in Biomedicine program, now in its third year, aims to strengthen science education and research connections across the state by developing research and learning partnerships between faculty from the University of Iowa and professors and students from Iowa undergraduate colleges.

The Fellows are chosen through a competitive application process, and they receive salary and lodging.

"The program is already producing tangible benefits for everyone involved," said program director Madeline Shea, Ph.D., UI professor of biochemistry. "Two students from the class of 2009 are now at the UI – one as a graduate student and one as a medical student -- and several UI faculty have ongoing collaborations, papers and grant proposals with Fellows from 2009 and 2010. In addition, the two-way exchange of ideas, expertise and perspectives has enhanced research at the UI and back in the classrooms and laboratories of the participating colleges. We are looking forward to another exciting summer of research, collaboration and partnership."

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