Summer research leads student toward science career

UNC Institute for Science Learning
September 29, 2005 By: Lea Hart CHAPEL HILL - Leslie Kennedy, a sophomore in the department of biology at Elizabeth City State University, is better prepared for a career in science after spending the summer as one of 12 students selected to take part in the Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences (PMABS) Summer Research Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Kennedy worked in the laboratory of Dr. Deborah Threadgill in the department of genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill investigating enzyme expression in bacterial strains found in the intestine. The experience culminated on July 29 when Kennedy presented her research at the PMABS Summer Research Program Symposium. The PMABS Summer Research Program's goal is to build a community of scholars who will go on to pursue graduate degrees and, ultimately, careers in science. The 2005 program consisted of knowledge development, research development, and professional development, including such activities as participating in academic enrichment programs, cultivating hands-on laboratory skills, and interacting with world-class scientists. Students were paired with research mentors from departments at UNC-Chapel Hill for the length of their research experience. The PMABS Summer Research Program was sponsored by PMABS and UNC-Chapel Hill's Institute for Science Learning and supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. About PMABS: PMABS is an alliance of scientists and educators from six of North Carolina's historically minority universities (HMUs) and UNC-Chapel Hill collaborating to ensure equity of access to knowledge and opportunity in order to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing and attaining careers in science. About The Institute for Science Learning: The Institute for Science Learning (ISL) builds collaborations among multiple disciplines and organizations at UNC and across the nation to confront national science-related challenges. The ISL engages faculty, students, business leaders, and elected officials in the creation of a science-learning renaissance by improving science education, increasing the number of students interested in pursuing science careers, and ensuring the university's future of discovery and innovation. UNC ISL contact: Lea Hart 919.843.5914,