Boyd, Freiermuth, and Junaidi were in the poster competition. Many of the 300 students were from larger universities like UW-Madison, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale. Dr. Jennifer Grant, UW-Stout’s ASBMB club chapter advisor, knew her students’ posters were exemplary. Many posters had two or more student or postdoc coauthors. Stout’s student presenters did the work themselves.
Boyd, a senior graduating in Applied Science, thinks this is one of the better reasons to go to a smaller school like Stout.
“The credit goes to the undergraduates because we're the ones who do the majority of the work,” Boyd said. “We stay with these projects from start to finish. Being able to say I was lead on a research project is huge.”
A Stanford student won the competition. But, Freiermuth, a junior in Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was very pleased with her results.
“I gained a lot of feedback from researchers who were very interested in my project,” Freiermuth said. “It was very fun, and I want to do it again.”
Freiermuth’s research was on the Zebra Mussel, Wisconsin’s invasive shelled species. She researched the shells of Zebra Mussels to find their protein composition. And tried to see if they could be a viable use for antibiotics.
“This could give us a way to make the invasive pest an asset,” explained Freiermuth. “I plan to go to medical school, and I know that my research will help me with my future plans.”
She noted the support she received from Stout faculty. They encouraged Freiermuth to develop her research. And build critical thinking skills in the lab. Freiermuth believes it makes a difference when you’re passionate about your research. She sees this passion in her peers and is very proud of their accomplishments.
Knier presented on the isolation of anaerobic gut microbiota from Honey Bees. She attempted to develop a probiotic to fight a gut-infecting microbe, a disease in Honey Bees. After long hours in the lab and more than one instance of starting over, she is making headway.
“I've asked professors for tips and tricks along the way, but it was my brainchild, my procedure, my work,” Knier said. “An apiarist talked with me for an hour at the presentation. He was happy to see that someone was doing research on bees.”