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Undergraduate Get Hands-on Research Experience in Biochemistry

In the summer of 2017, Katelyn Comeau, C’19, was one of 10 participants to travel to the University of Oklahoma (Norman) where she partook in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Structural Biology.

Comeau, a biochemistry major on a pre-med track, took crash courses on biochemistry, structural biology, and x-ray crystallography to aid in her research over the two month program. The goal of the research is to diversify natural products and drugs for diseases like cancer. Comeau was able to successfully freeze and store an active and pure prenyltransferase enzyme which the lab will use for progress in drug leads.

As Comeau finishes her junior year at the Mount, the honors student has already accepted an offer for a position with David Ginty, Ph.D. a Mount grad and 2016 keynote speaker at the SPARC Festival. The position will have Comeau traveling to Harvard University Medical School in the summer of 2018 along with a few other undergrads from other universities. Comeau will be assisting one of Ginty’s post doctoral students with projects in neuroscience. She will be working on a pain perception project, as well as analyzing mouse models of autism and links they have to neurology.

Comeau applied to a total of 25 research programs for the summer, resulting in offers from Ginty, as well as two additional programs, one being at the University of Maryland Medical School in the Nathan Schnaper Intern Program in Translational Cancer Research.

Comeau is extremely interested in translational cancer research, and plans to attend medical school upon completing her undergraduate studies next year.