CAS News

Mackenzie Lee will be spending 12 weeks in Germany this summer
studying proteins.

CAS student selected for prestigious research program in Germany

TAMPA, Fla. -- A University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences senior is one of only 300 students selected by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate in the prestigious Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) program.

Mackenzie Lee will be spending 12 weeks in Germany this summer and will work under a Ph.D. student on a project characterizing particular proteins that function as molecular “switches” in the cell to control a variety of cellular processes. More specifically, the project will analyze the spacio-temporal control of Rho GTPase signaling through a variety of genetic and spectroscopic approaches. The research group is part of the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), a major biomedical research institute located in Berlin, Germany.

Lee is double majoring in German studies and biochemistry. The Department of Chemistry recently awarded him the 2014 Dean Martin Outstanding Chemistry Student in the B.A. program.

The RISE experience will build on his varied undergraduate research experiences. Lee is currently a research technician working with Dr. Robert V. Farese at the James A. Haley V.A. Hospital Research Service (in association with USF Health) investigating cellular signaling defects in Type II Diabetes. Following graduation from USF, Lee plans to attend medical school in pursuit of a future in medical research.

More than 2,200 students from universities in the United States and Canada competed for one of the 300 awards. The RISE program, administered from DAAD headquarters in Bonn, Germany, allows students of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and physics to expand their international laboratory skills working alongside doctoral students at universities and research institutions across Germany. RISE award packages include a living expense stipend, insurance, and travel to attend a three-day meeting of all RISE scholarship holders in Heidelberg.

Founded in 1925 by German student Carl Joachim Friedrich, DAAD represents the higher education institutions of Germany in support of international research and study through a variety of scholarship exchange programs supporting more than 67,000 individuals each year.

“Mackenzie’s research and potential for impact will benefit enormously from this summer research opportunity in Germany and build on his skill in the lab and his knowledge of the German culture,” said Linda Lucas, Ph.D., director of the Office of National Scholarships at USF.

The Office of National Scholarships identifies, recruits and mentors high achieving students to apply for national merit scholarships across all disciplines. The scholarships and fellowships are for creative, motivated and academically strong students who are leaders in and out of the classroom.

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Author: Staff Report