Sep. 23, 2013
Buena Vista University senior Tesia Posekany conducted research on plant immunity during her second National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY during the summer. Posekany completed her first REU fellowship at Iowa State University in 2012.
While at Cornell, Posekany's research centered on plant immune responses. Using state-of-the-art genetic technologies, she designed specific molecular gene detectors, isolated plant RNA and analyzed gene expression data.
"Standing at the lab bench and working on 'real life' experiments makes science exciting and applicable," said Posekany, a biology major from Woodburn. "The REU and other internship opportunities at BVU have enhanced my laboratory skill set, allowed me to network with scientific leaders at premiere institutions and live life as a scientist for a few months."
The REU is a competitive program. Applicants from around the country vie for these highly coveted fellowships. Students complete a detailed application that includes course history, grade point average, laboratory experience and letters of recommendation.
"There are many fine institutions in the REU program, but Tesia spent her fellowship at the best university on earth for plant sciences," said BVU Professor of Biology Dr. James Hampton. "Her project at Cornell dovetails nicely with her honors project at BVU and her work at Iowa State last year. She is exploring the immune system of plants - an exciting area that draws not only botany students, but from all science disciplines, including medicine."
The BVU science program places great emphasis on research requiring each biology major to conduct a research project each year they are a student.
"BVU has a reputation of arming its biology graduates with competitive laboratory experience and an incredible foundation in science," said Posekany. "It will definitely give me a head start in graduate school and my future career in science."