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Reu Site: The Plant-Microbe Interface: A Summer Undergraduate Research Program


<p>An award has been made to Texas A&M University that provides research training for 10 weeks for 10 undergraduate students, for the summers of 2011-2013. The program focuses on the plant-microbe interface, and features student-led independent research projects in bioenergy, plant disease, food safety and security, and agricultural sustainability. By participating in these research experiences, students learn fundamental biological research methods and critical thinking. The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology has 12 faculty participating in the program. Students are expected to perform full-time laboratory research as well as participate in seminars and brown-bag-lunches in which topics including professional communication, research ethics and compliance, and the graduate school application process, are addressed. Students also participate in a GRE preparation course. Students are provided tours of diverse research facilities at Texas A&M University, and have access to a rich array of research resources, light and electron microscopy, next generation DNA sequencing, mass spectrometry, etc. Student recruits are highly motivated rising junior and senior undergraduate students from minority- and non-minority-serving universities from across the country. Flyers describing the REU are distributed to biology, chemistry, and biochemistry departments, and pamphlets are distributed through The Society for Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science, and at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Students are selected based on academic record, research performance, and potential for outstanding research in the biological sciences. Students are tracked to determine their continued interest in their academic field of study, their career paths, and the lasting influences of the research experience. Information about the program will be assessed by various means, including use of an REU common assessment tool. The program will have long-lasting impacts related to (a) establishing novel collaborations and interaction between a Land Grant University, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other institutions outside of Texas; (b) promoting undergraduate research; (c) training a new generation of scientific leaders from diverse populations; and (d) advancing the fundamental body of knowledge in plant-microbe interface research. More information is available by visiting (Click on Summer Program) or by contacting the PI (Dr. Carlos F. Gonzalez at or the co-PI (Dr. Paul J. de Figueiredo at</p>

Gonzalez, Carlos F; de Figueiredo, Paul
Texas A&M University
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