IPFW biology student Janine Bennett received the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her project “The Role of scytonemin in the Adaptation to Oxidative Stress in cyanobacteria.” Bennett studied cyanobacteria, bacteria that convert sunlight to energy through photosynthesis. These bacteria produce UV-absorbing sunscreens to serve as a shield against harmful solar energy. Bennett and her advisor, assistant professor Tanya Soule (biology), have been researching the bacteria’s ability to produce a natural sunscreen (scytonemin) under oxidative stress.
This award grants up to a $4,000 stipend to conduct full-time summer research at the home institution. Soule is especially pleased of the opportunity for Bennett to present the results to the broader scientific community at the 2017 ASM Microbe Meeting held in New Orleans, L.A.