In today’s competitive academic environment and job market, graduate and undergraduate students can benefit from internships and study abroad semesters that provide hands-on experience in marketable skills. For decades BIOS has been providing aspiring scientists with such opportunities through CaBIOS (Canadian Associates of BIOS), the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, and the Bermuda Program.
Colin Du, a 2012 CaBIOS student and intern in the Molecular Discovery Lab, and Arielle Anderson, a 2011 REU student, saw their time at BIOS pay significant dividends in the form of a publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Along with co-authors Mae Lortie (Research Technician), Rachel Parsons (Microbial Ecology Lab Manager) and Dr. Andrea Bodnar (Associate Scientist), Colin and Arielle were the first and second authors, respectively, on the paper “Oxidative damage and cellular defense mechanisms in sea urchin models of aging,” published this month in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
Their work investigates the oxidative stress theory of aging in three sea urchin species. Sea urchins are unique models for aging research, as they exhibit a large range in natural life span, with some species living more than 100 years without displaying significant signs of aging. By studying cellular oxidative damage—as well as various antioxidant activities—in sea urchin tissues, researchers hope to gain insight into the mechanisms involved in the aging process and how cellular damage can be mitigated.
Rachel Parsons, Coordinator of the NSF-REU program at BIOS, spoke highly of having student researchers working on cutting-edge investigations, saying, “It has been a pleasure to work with students like Arielle and Colin. Their interest in molecular science, meticulous work ethics and general enthusiasm were a welcome addition to BIOS. Arielle was part of the 2011 REU Program, which was one of our best and most productive years in terms of student publications. Colin joins a group of high-calibre students from Trent University that have been funded by CaBIOS and demonstrates how beneficial an internship at BIOS can be, both to the student and the advisor. We thank CaBIOS for their continued support of such students.”
Dr. Bodnar, Principal Investigator (PI) of the Molecular Discovery Lab, oversaw the students’ research—which is part of a larger ongoing investigation—and commented that, “Arielle and Colin are bright young scientists who contributed significantly to our lab’s work,” adding that, “We wish them well in their future careers in science and medicine.”
For more information on the CaBIOS and NSF-REU programs at BIOS, please visit the Education page of the BIOS website here.