Michael Lebdetter is a Dean’s Honored Graduate in the Office of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is graduating with a diploma in biochemistry. Michael is staying regarded for his investigate initiatives in the laboratory of Professor Andy Ellington, which have culminated in an undergraduate thesis and a refereed journal publication.
Michael’s investigate started with the Freshman Investigate Initiative in the Aptamer Investigate Stream. He and other students in the stream ended up picking out nucleic acid binding species (aptamers) versus biomedically applicable protein targets, this sort of as the envelope protein from the Dengue virus.
Primarily based on his success in the FRI stream, Michael was picked to perform on an outreach venture, the growth of a kit that would teach molecular evolution to superior university students. He tailored a ribozyme that is able of self-replication to functionality in a exam tube with a fluorescent readout. Michael’s perform recapitulated the ribozyme replicase initially created by scientists at the Scripps Investigate Institute and then developed the fluorescent readout. Michael was just lately awarded the prospect to present this investigate at the 13th Synthetic Lifestyle Convention in East Lansing, Michigan and is composing up a paper on how the investigate and academic tasks overlapped and supplied new insights into the understanding of “evolution in action.” Right after transitioning out of mentoring for the FRI, Michael took the role of advisor to and mentor for UT’s BIOMOD staff, a competition that on a yearly basis pits undergraduate groups versus 1 a different in the subject of DNA nanotechnology and nanostructure. Michael’s staff of ten undergraduates is functioning on nucleic acid circuits for diagnostics.
Whilst an undergraduate, Michael preserved a three.87 GPA and will graduate with Large Honors. He was a mentor to other students, the two in the FRI software and in investigate methods courses. He was awarded the Noman Hackerman Prize for Investigate in Chemistry and the Fortigo, Inc., Award for Excellence in Computational Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry Investigate.
Right after graduation, Michael will keep on functioning in the Ellington lab as a member of the investigate workers although he applies to graduate PhD or MD/PhD programs upcoming drop. He’s picked a assortment of books for his summertime reading through, which includes Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and The Crying of Good deal 49, Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and The Doorways of Notion by Aldous Huxley.