Student scientists at the University of Arizona don’t just study science—they conduct it. Undergraduate research experiences are helping students to better comprehend their academic course work, understand how scientific knowledge is created, think critically in order to solve problems, identify new questions to address, and much more.
Under the direction of faculty mentors, students in the UA’s Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) learn through an educational program designed to teach students science by involving them in biologically related research.
Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP’s assistant director, will describe the program, and Ben Zaepfel, an undergraduate student, will discuss his research in an Arizona Senior Academy talk entitled “The Knowledge of the Young: The Interesting Adventures of Undergraduate Researchers.” Their presentation will begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (July 27) in the ASA Great Room.
Ben will share his scientific work, how he conducted research, what he is learning, and what this undergraduate experience means to him.
Ben has been working with fruit flies, otherwise known as Drosophila melanogaster. These insects are used to study many of the biological processes that take place in humans, such as neuronal development and glucose metabolism. Moreover, these insects are a great model to identify small molecules that can interrupt such processes. Why spend months testing your newly synthesized molecules in mice when you can get the same results in just a few weeks using fruit flies?
Come hear about how these flying friends are being used to study interactions between proteins in motor neurons, and how these interactions can be interrupted with specially designed small molecules.
Written by Andy Robertson, Academy Village Volunteer