Training Grants a Boon to Research and Scientists

Posted on June 22, 2007  Comments (0)

Training grants a boon to research, scientists:

According to Petra Schroeder, assistant dean of the Graduate School, there are approximately 30 training grants available at UW–Madison. Most are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and they direct about $17 million each year toward the training of future researchers.

Each training program has its own specific mission, but most foster interdisciplinary research, providing students with valuable experience in a setting likely to mirror their first job environment. Those involved in the Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) are taught to do research at the juncture of the biological and physical sciences.

LiGreci is interested in bioremediation, putting microbes to use in cleaning up toxic waste. BTP thrust her into a soil science laboratory on campus. Though LiGreci considers herself primarily a microbiologist, her research lies far outside the comfort zone of most of her peers, involving soil science, chemistry and geology.

According to LiGreci, the exposure she gets to novel lab techniques is eye opening. She learned new modes of culturing bacteria and other lab skills unique to microbiology, expanding her toolkit as a bench scientist. This summer, she will branch out further into the realms of genomics and the intersection between computing and biology when she joins the Joint Genome Institute at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern. There, she will work on projects to assemble genomes of soil bacteria.

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