Rising sophomores present at national conference

Alex Jones, a ReBUILDetroit scholar, and Griffin Craig both from University of Detroit Mercy presented their freshman year SEA-PHAGE research project at the 9th Annual SEA-PHAGE Symposium held on the Janelia Research Campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Ashburn, VA. on June 10.

Alex Jones (l) and Griffin Craig (r) present poster at 9th Annual SEA-PHAGE Symposium in Ashburn, VA.

Alex Jones (l) and Griffin Craig (r) present poster at 9th Annual SEA-PHAGE Symposium in Ashburn, VA.

The title of their poster was “Isolation and Characterization of the Mycobacterium smegmatis specific, J-Cluster Mosaic Phage ThreeRingTarJay”

This annual end-of-academic-year symposium brings together SEA-PHAGES students and faculty members from around the country to connect and share their research through poster sessions and talks.

Jones, a ReBUILDetroit scholar, was excited to be invited to the symposium.

“The best part of my experience was speaking with people from different places and hearing the similarities and difference in how we did research,” said Jones.  “It gave me a different perspective and I was able to come up with a clever hypothesis for our findings that I hadn’t thought of before.”

The SEA-PHAGE lab is designed to give students a unique mentored research experience in their freshman year collecting soil samples, identifying bacteriophage and isolating DNA.

ReBUILDetroit scholars like Jones experience the scientific discovery in the laboratory but also have the opportunity to present their findings.

“Being exposed to this research opportunity has given me invaluable experience in presenting research that is difficult for most to experience so early in the game,” said Jones.  “ReBUILDetroit has presented me with workshops to sharpen those skills along with events like national conferences where we can perform in front of new audiences, and has given me some options for my future career choice.”

“I was so glad I had this opportunity,” said Jones.  “The research I learned and the people I met provided an invaluable experience that I will use to further identify who I am as a scientist now, and who I will become in the future.”