Six Baylor undergraduates receive Folmar Awards to support their research in biology

(Pictured above, left to right): Isaac Montgomery; Dr. Leigh Greathouse; Dr. Jason Pitts; Caleb Hemphill; Dr. Dwayne Simmons, chair of biology; Sinchana Basoor; Alagu Subramanian; Dr. Sarah Kienle; and Samuel Rivera. (Not pictured): Dr. Joseph Taube, Dr. Myeongwoo Lee, Lianzijun Wang.

By Randy Fiedler

Six Baylor University science students have received awards created to support the projects of undergraduates doing exceptional independent research in the Department of Biology.

Sinchana Basoor (senior biology major), Caleb Hemphill (senior biology major), Isaac Montgomery (senior University Scholar), Samuel Rivera (junior public health major), Alagu Subramanian (senior biology major and University Scholar), and Lianzijun Wang (senior biology and biochemistry major) are the 2022-2023 recipients of the Jack G. and Noma Jean Folmar Research Fund awards.

Each spring, students interested in receiving Folmar Research Fund awards are asked to write a proposal and create a budget explaining how they will use the funds. A faculty committee then selects the projects to be funded for the following fiscal year.

“The maximum award is $1,000 per student,” said Dr. Tamarah Adair, senior lecturer in biology and director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) in the Office of Engaged Learning. “Folmar funding awards may be used to purchase equipment or supplies for a student-led project.”

Adair said that making it easier for students to fund their research projects results in many benefits.

“The ability to apply the process of science, use quantitative reasoning and communicate and collaborate with other scientists is enhanced when undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in research,” she said.  “The Folmar Award allows students to experience the process of proposal writing, take ownership of their project, and communicate the results to the broader community.”

This year’s Folmar Award-winning research projects include investigations into cancer, gene editing and invasive mosquito populations. The project titles, as well as each student’s faculty mentor, are:

  • Sinchana Basoor: “The protective role of oncomodulin in endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial stress-induced death” (Mentor: Dr. Dwayne Simmons);
  • Caleb Hemphill: “Determining the extent of establishment of invasive mosquito species, Aedes japonicus, in Texas” (Mentor: Dr. Jason Pitts);
  • Isaac Montgomery: Fusobacterium nucleatum modulation of biofilm community in colorectal cancer microenvironment” (Mentor: Dr. Leigh Greathouse);
  • Samuel Rivera: “Comparative histology and morphology of pinniped flipper crenellations” (Mentor: Dr. Sarah Kienle);
  • Alagu Subramanian: “Small molecules to target cancer stem cells: Role of tumor suppressor protein PDCD4 in anticancer efficacy of pateamine A derivatives” (Mentor: Dr. Joseph Taube); and
  • Lianzijun Wang: “Characterization of LON-1/CRISP functions using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system” (Mentor: Dr. Myeongwoo Lee).

One Response

  1. MLee at |

    Congratulations, Lian! Excellent!


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