Friday, November 19, 2010

Guest Blogger - Professor Mac Lippert

I've asked other members of our Biology Department to write some blog entries to help provide a broader view of our programs. This is from Mac Lippert:

Prof. Mac Lippert at the airport with former students Michelle Miaskiewicz, Jessica Mollmark, and Maggie Holmes as they prepare to fly to Orlando, Florida to present their research posters at the annual conference of the American Society of Microbiologists.

I've been a member of the Biology Department at Saint Mike's since 2000. My upper-level teaching responsibilities are Genetics and Microbiology. In addition, I teach another course: General Biology, Biological Reading & Writing, or Senior Seminar. Our department chair, Doug Facey, has asked me to contribute some guest blogs, so I decided to blog about research students that I've had the pleasure of mentoring in the past and currently. I will focus on students attending scientific conferences where they presented results from their summer and/or academic year research projects. Today, I'm introducing myself and this series of guest blogs that will show up here on Doug's blog site. I first performed research as an undergraduate researcher with Jim Gentile at Hope College. Jim inspired me to become a college professor. I explored the activation of non-mutagenic chemicals into mutagens by an algal species, Selenastrum capricornutum. I took over the project from a senior who graduated the year before, Tim Shafer; another student, Pete Johnson, took over the project when I graduated. Jim wrote a paper describing our work which was published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology in 1990, volume 44, pages 729-736. The article is titled, 'Activation of chemical promutagens by Selenastrum capricornutum in the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay'. I presented my research results at a national scientific conference, the Annual Meeting of the Environmental Mutagen Society, which was held in San Francisco in 1987. Now I mentor undergraduates performing independent research projects. Rather than algae, we use yeast as our experimental organism, but I'm still interested in mutations. In future blogs, I'll introduce you to some of my students who have had the opportunity to perform research and attend scientific conferences.

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