Students perform summer research

Three Northwestern College students have been selected to participate in competitive off-campus research projects this summer. The 10-week programs provide the students a stipend and housing while they gain experience in a research laboratory under the direction of an established scientist.

Andrea Hallberg, a junior biology health professions major from Vinton, Iowa, will be participating in the University of Iowa’s Interdisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Program. She will work in the lab of Dr. Kimberly Leslie, professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Hallberg will do fluorescent imaging of endometrial cancer cells and study the effects of progesterone.

Heidi Postma, a junior majoring in biology health professions from Sheldon, Iowa, will also be conducting research at the University of Iowa. In the Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, she will work with Dr. Sheila Baker, assistant professor of biochemistry and ophthalmology. Their project seeks to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that dictate the polarized location of proteins in specialized neurons like photoreceptors using a frog model.

Katee Wyant, a junior chemistry major from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, will be part of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at the University of Kansas. Working with Dr. Carey Johnson, professor of chemistry, Wyant will use methods of fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging to study LOV (light-oxygen-voltage) signaling domains in phototropin, the protein that enables plants to grow toward light.

Northwestern College is a Christian college of more than 1,200 students in Orange City, Iowa. Rated the nation’s third-best baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly and a top-10 Midwestern college by U.S. News & World Report magazine, Northwestern provides an education that combines academic rigor with a faith perspective.