The busyness of Bloomington campus slows down as summer classes begin, but that doesn’t stop students from working on research projects.
Sophomore Gracie Baker majoring in human biology applied to be part of the Women in STEM Living-Learning Center (WSTEM LLC) summer research program and is now working alongside
Dr. Hollenhorst’s lab is a favorite at the university. Every summer, two to three undergraduate students work on research projects with graduate students in the Hollenhorst Lab. The Hollenhorst lab focuses on ETS transcription factors in the human genome which are involved in
Since Baker’s interest lies within biology research, she will be working alongside graduate student Taylor Nicholas; together, both researchers will try to understand and interpret how EWS proteins work alongside ERG proteins, encoded by the most common gene implicated in prostate cancer.
Baker first heard about the summer research program when she visited IU campus as a high school senior and learned about the WSTEM Living-Learning Center. The center accepts underclassmen from a variety of majors and academic interests in STEM areas.
She soon learned that she could participate in self-designed projects and learn more about research conducted in labs at IU. Before the summer research program, Baker was able to attend training in April with the Hollenhorst lab.
“It’s been really great,” Baker said. “It helps me connect in a way I can understand.”
Baker will work on cloning protein fragments and determining which parts of the proteins interact with one another. She will also learn different techniques that apply
As Baker works alongside Nicholas, she finds this experience helps with her future career plans.
“Working with Taylor, I can understand what graduate school is like and figure out what research interests me and what my career plans could look like,” Baker said.
Dr. Hollenhorst hopes that his lab helps students explore research and learn about biomedical research and learn molecular techniques used to study different genes.
New students joining the program receive training in techniques and procedures used in the lab. He also encourages students to do
“Even if it’s hard to get into a lab, especially if you want to go to graduate school, you have to find some type of research experience,” Hollenhorst said. “One of these summer research programs could help with that.”
Baker will be working six to eight hours each day during the week for the next eight weeks. The research program begins on June 3rd and
To learn more about the WSTEM LLC visit their site https://womeninstem.indiana.edu/about-us/