The PRISMS Biology research lab has been chosen to participate in multi-university research project.
The proposed project, entitled Cell Biology at the Root of the Eukaryotic Radiation, is headed by Richard McCann, a professor of biochemistry at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon Georgia. The proposed study is aimed at understanding some of the key cellular changes that accompanied the evolution of eukaryotic organisms (plants, animals, and fungi). The research will concentrate on the origin of a group of proteins that facilitate cells adhering to each other and are essential to the development of multicellularity.
“It’s a remarkable opportunity for our students. The program will allow several students over the next 3-4 years to work with research scientists at several universities” says Dr. David Hauser, Chair of the Science Department, who will oversee the research at PRISMS. “Students will be assigned specific research projects to work on and it is our intention that several will present their results at the American Society for Cell Biology in Philadelphia in December of 2017”.
The invitation to participate in the NSF grant is uncommon for a high school. “It is exceedingly rare for a high school to be asked to participate in such a program; research of this caliber is reserved for colleges and universities.” says Dr. Hauser. “We were invited primarily because of our lab capabilities, which are far superior to most high schools, and because of our unique curriculum that allows students to work on research projects for up to 2 full years”.