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August 5, 2010

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

HOMETOWN RELEASE: Lindale Residents Named Top Poster Presenters in UT Tyler 2010 LSAMP Research Academy

The University of Texas at Tyler undergraduate students Michael Comer and Cassie Skipper, both of Lindale, were among the top six presenters in an on-campus presentation to conclude the 2010 UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Research Academy.

Comer’s presentation titled, “Simulations of Protein Diffusion in Cell Membranes,” was named the top overall poster in the competition, which was judged by a university panel. Skipper’s presentation is titled “Development of QRT-PCR Protocols for Rapid Xylella fastidiosa Subspecies Differentiation and Analysis.”

UT Tyler faculty members Drs. Jennifer Pearce and Blake Bextine serve as Comer’s and Skipper’s faculty members, respectively. 

The six students will present their research project results at the UT System LSAMP Student Research Conference to be held Sept. 16 – 18 at UT El Paso.

The UT-LSAMP program is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and provides undergraduate research experiences in an effort to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing graduate level studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.        

Each of the 19 students received a fellowship stipend for their participation, and faculty mentors received funding for supplies and materials to support their student’s research activities.

Twice this summer, the SRA students also participated in videoconferences involving all LSAMP fellows and mentors across the UT System.       

UT Tyler faculty members Dr. Don McClaugherty, chair and professor of chemistry; Dr. Don Killebrew, chair and professor of biology; and Dr. Jeffrey Mountain, associate professor of mechanical engineering, also contributed in their supporting roles on the program’s advisory committee.

Dr. Stephen B. Rainwater serves as the UT Tyler LSAMP program campus director.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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