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Biology faculty member receives NIH grant

RELEASED: May 19, 2010

Dr. Jamie Lyman Gingerich
Dr. Jamie Lyman Gingerich

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Jamie Lyman Gingerich, assistant professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has received a $307,477 Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes of Health, to be used over a three-year period. The grant program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The overall goal of Lyman Gingerich's research is to provide insight into the links between cilia signaling and human health, including heart development, fat storage and obesity, and polycystic kidney disease. Her lab uses the nematode C. elegans as a model for studying the links between cilia and perception of the environment.

"Improper cilia signaling can contribute to diverse symptoms in humans including obesity and congenital heart defects," said Lyman Gingerich. "Therefore, understanding the mechanisms involved in cilia function can better equip us to search for ways to improve human health."

The funding for Lyman Gingerich's project, titled "Investigation of Protein Receptor Localization and Retrograde Transport in Cell-type Specific Cilia in the Nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans," will enable undergraduate students who work in her lab to develop expertise in conducting experiments using innovative approaches and current equipment. Undergraduate researchers will have the opportunity to experience the challenges of research firsthand and to present their findings at professional meetings.

"This project extends UW-Eau Claire's quarter-century tradition of engaging students in collaborative research with faculty scholars and incorporating research into the undergraduate experience," said Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs.

"Faculty derive great personal and professional satisfaction from guiding students in their development as researchers. Students are excited by the opportunity to use leading-edge technologies to actively investigate important questions in their discipline," she said.

According to Havholm, undergraduate research is one of the high-impact educational practices that increase rates of student retention and student engagement. Each year hundreds of UW-Eau Claire faculty and students co-present and co-publish results of their collaborative research.

For more information, contact Dr. Jamie Lyman Gingerich at lymangjs@uwec.edu or 715-836-3020.

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RD/DW

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