Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Spencer Diamond L&S Sciences

The function of prm-1 in Neruospora crassa membrane fusion

Cell-cell fusion is a highly regulated event that is fundamental to the development of most eukaryotic organisms. However, despite its fundamental roll, the mechanisms of cell-cell fusion in most systems are not very well understood. Using the orange bread mold Neurospora crassa, I plan to study one of its integral membrane proteins known as prm-1. Prm-1 is implicated in the function of the cell-cell fusion pathway for N. crassa. Clues as to the exact function of the prm-1 protein will be gained by significant phenotypic analysis of growth and sexual development, localization by fluorescence tagging, and suppressor mutant screening.

Message To Sponsor

For as long as I can remember I have always been intrigued with many areas of scientific study. Slowly I have worked through the ranks from curious high school student to undergraduate researcher. As I have progressed through these limited stages I have continually asked myself the question, What is it that I need to do to progress and grow into a great scientist? Finding work in my current lab was one answer to this question, and the year I have spent working there has shown me more than any book can, the real excitements and frustrations of bench work. However this is only the first step into a larger world. I see the SURF program as a new opportunity to become a better scientist. I have now been asked by someone to produce results. To me this is a step away from the safety of a strict learning experience and a way to test the waters of the real world. Although I hold some fears of failure, which is always a possible outcome, the experience I will gain from even my own failures is an essential part of the puzzle to becoming a great scientist.
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Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Louise Glass, Plant and Microbial Biology
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