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Rachael graduated from Novi High School in Novi, Michigan. Rachael completed their senior research project by developing a method of detecting blastomyces dermatitidis in soil using PCR. This study lays the foundation for further studying blastomyces dermatitidis in soil samples from endemic regions in northern Michigan. Rachael is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Rachael recently was selected to go to MSU to train in qPCR techniques and assisted in their cow bacteroides project. Rachael plans to attend graduate school in the future to study biochemistry.

Rachael Cunningham
2010 Outstanding Graduate
Forensic Chemistry

Chemistry

LSSU chemistry students receive top awards in undergraduate student research
Scholarships at LSSU
 
Congratulations!
  • John Lehman Scholarship
    This $1000 scholarship is given to an incoming freshman majoring in chemistry, forensic chemistry or environmental chemistry.  The recipient is selected by the department faculty based on the student’s application essay, high school GPA, and demonstrated need. 
Sholarship/Internship Opportunities
  

2007/2008 Recipient is Shelby LaBuhn, Environmental Chemistry

"I'm certainly proud to be a part of Lake Superior State University. Our programs provide an excellent opportunity to gain competency in your major field through challenging and engaging courses stressing theory and application, and to gain preparation for employment, clinical practice or post baccalaureate education. However, a university education is more than that, it involves the transformation of individuals from students to scholars, from receivers of knowledge to creators of new knowledge, from professional prospects to professional colleagues. The university graduate carries away more than a just a paper diploma or certificate, you will carry a breadth and depth of learning that goes beyond a particular career choice. It is your development of a lifelong commitment to learning, of an appreciation and understanding of differing ideas and ideologies, and your continued development as an individual and professional, that empowers you as a citizen, prepares you for professional service, and opens your world to new possibilities. The Personal Approach to education at LSSU centers on personal contact and I encourage you to stop by my office, or that of any of the faculty members, to discuss your career interests in more detail. I look forward to meeting you."

--David M. Myton, PhD
Professor of Chemistry

Optim- ization of Salmon DNA as an Internal Standard for qPCR

Elaina Murray

The Escherichia coli species is a human fecal contamination indicator and as such is used in beach monitoring efforts. Quantifying E. Coli presence in local beach waters helps the health department determine if a beach should be closed. The current method of determination, Colilert, takes 18 hours to produce data. Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), which measure genetic DNA, is also method used to quantify the number of E. Coli, but it can be done much faster than Colilert. In order to standardize the qPCR results, an internal standard is included which is salmon DNA. This project goes through the process of optimizing the salmon standard curve. Each of the components was modified and the resulting standard curve was analyzed for improvements; the primers and probe were purchased new and the concentrations were varied, the DNA was purchased new and the standard curve concentrations and dilution methods were varied, the DNA was cleaned with a Qiagen kit, and new master mix and bovine serum albumin were purchased and prepared. We found that changes to the concentrations of primers and probe and cleaning the DNA showed an increase of optimization, and that changing the dilution methods had no effect of optimization. A combination of the above modifications may be able to produce an optimized salmon DNA standard curve.

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