Lederman Fellowships Offer Students Unique Opportunities

Researching Diseases Carried by Mice
This summer four Colby students worked on campus as research assistants to Colby professors, thanks to the Mark Lederman '66 Memorial Student Research Fellowship. The Lederman fellowship pays a salary to a small number of student research assistants in environmental science and biology, allowing them to stay on campus during the summer and work within their fields. Recipients of the fellowship gain valuable experience they most likely could not get in an off-campus summer job, and they often report on their research at the annual Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium.

"If scientists can learn to control the growth cues for neurons it would go a long way toward our ability to fix nerve damage such as spinal injuries," said Greg Engel '07 of Westfield, N.J., who worked under Professor Andrea Tilden, the J. Warren Merrill Associate Professor of Biology, this summer exploring the effects of the neurohormone melatonin on neurite outgrown in cultured fiddler crab brain cells.

Biology major Caitlin Rumrill '08 of Maynard, Massachusetts, worked with Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Stacey Lance, researching the occurrences of four diseases that are carried by ticks. "We trapped ticks and rodents throughout Maine, which was great because I got to see all of this state's best scenery. It really turned out to be a great opportunity," she said. "I learned a lot about techniques and basic research skills that will help a great deal in the future. Right now, I am planning on attending a veterinary school after graduating from Colby. I really am grateful to have been able to take part in this research."

The Mark Lederman '66 Memorial Student Research Fellowship was established by Bruce and Ellen Lederman P'05 of Pacific Palisades, California. The Ledermans, parents of Jeffrey Lederman '05, established the fellowship in memory of Bruce's brother, Mark, who died in 1964 while enrolled as a Colby student.

Photo above: Sharon Fuller '08 and Caitlin Rumrill '08 take a blood sample from a mouse to study which diseases it is carrying.


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