Biology Undergraduates Use Special Awards to Support Amazing Research
Tracy Tabib is performing experiments examining the role of the Tpl2 gene in a particular type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. As a sophomore she became interested in this work when she took Cell Biology from Dr. Katie DeCicco-Skinner. Now she is doing research in Dr. DeCicco-Skinner’s lab because she is the recipient of both the 2011 Likins Award and the Grebe Award. The Likins award is given to an outstanding female student who is majoring in Biology to encourage more women to enter the research field. The purpose of the Grebe Award is to support students who perform research in laboratories in the biology department over the summer months. Tracy’s work on the Tpl2 gene is helping to determine how this gene normally suppresses skin cancer development, and how in its absence susceptibility to skin cancer increases. She has learned how to do western blots, quantitative PCR, cell cultures, and proliferation assays to list a few techniques. The possibility of getting her work published and the importance of having this research experience will help her fulfill her dream of entering a MD/PhD program when she graduates.