Check out our state of the art cell culture laboratory. Samples from this space and others can be analyzed by western blot with our Li-Core Odyssey imaging system or by fluorescence microscopy with one of our fluorescent microscopes. Maybe get a bit more technical with our high-performance liquid chromatograph, ultraviolet-visible spectrometer, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, or gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry? If you’ve got a passion for studying life at the molecular level, we would love to work with you. Lakeland’s professors have an impressive collection of high-tech tools they're excited to introduce you to. Together, using Lakeland’s deeply ingrained hands-on approach, you will unlock the many secrets of biochemistry. You will get a project, you will learn how to use and troubleshoot all of our instruments, you will learn how to obtain results, how to interpret those results, and how to explain those results to an audience.
A versatile major
Majoring in biochemistry opens up numerous career doors. A biochemistry degree from Lakeland will prepare you for medical school or pharmaceutical school, because your courses will meet the prerequisites for professional school acceptance.
If you’d prefer to go directly into the workforce, your Lakeland University biochemistry Bachelor of Science degree – and the plentiful internship opportunities with local companies – will make you an exceptionally attractive candidate for entry level positions involving chemistry.
And if you’d prefer to enter graduate school and focus on earning a Ph.D. or doctorate in biochemistry, that path is wide open as well. One former Lakeland University student is a Ph.D. candidate in biophysics at prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Another is a Ph.D. candidate in physical chemistry at the University of Michigan.
LU biochem students present research in Chicago
Lakeland biochemistry students Tegan Schneider and Mitchel Larsen recently presented their research at the 50th annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in Chicago.
This national meeting, which was attended by more than 27,000 people, allowed the students to share their work with neuroscientists from around the world, as well as learn about all of the different work being done in the field. They were joined at the meeting by LU Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Jered McGivern.
The work by Schneider, of Plymouth, Wis., and Larsen, of Sheboygan, Wis., which was conducted with McGivern, was part of Lakeland's highly regarded Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) summer research program.
The students used a donated skin sample from an adult female to make brain tissue in a dish. The goal of their work was better understanding how neural signaling compounds (called neurotransmitters) are regulated in the brain.
"The tissue we received was chemically 'tricked' into thinking it was fetal tissue, and then we chemically directed those cells to develop into brain tissue," McGivern said. "The whole system is still in the exploratory stage where Tegan and Mitchel are determining if this tissue acts in a way that is consistent with how normal human brain tissue might work.
"It's difficult to study, because most people are not willing to part with their brain tissue, so we need to use techniques like these. Our hope is that this type of model system can be used to not only understand normal brain function, but also in circumstances where there are defects or diseases."
The two students have continued their research into this semester.
"I am really proud of the work they're doing and their attitude at this conference," McGivern said. "It's always good to hear that people were surprised that these were not graduate students."
The students were able to attend the meeting thanks to a gift from 1969 graduate Cliff Feldmann, a generous benefactor for a number of programs in Lakeland's School of Science, Technology & Education.
LU science students present research at Marquette
Six Lakeland students from the biology and biochemistry departments participated late this summer in Marquette University’s annual Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium in Milwaukee.
The Lakeland contingent, comprised of students in the Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) Program, created six posters, which were among the 40 total posters on display.
Lakeland Professor of Biology Greg Smith said the research symposium provides an opportunity for LU students to present their research to peers and faculty from other institutions.
"Our students are always a little anxious leading up to the event," Smith said. "However, after the event, they are usually surprised to realize how much expertise they developed in their research topic over the summer.
"It’s also a great event to experience the breadth of possible research projects, and our students learn so much about such a wide variety of topics from talking to their peers."
The Lakeland posters and authors (student and professor) were:
- "Effects of Different Transfection Methods on the Viability of HEK293 Cells" by Tia Hoisington and Assistant Professor of Biology Andrew Karls.
- "Determining the Effect of Increasing Nitrogen to Phosphorous Ratios on Biovolume Production of Four Freshwatrer Algae" by Grace Schumacher and Associate Professor of Biology Paul Pickhardt.
- "Quantifying Cell Density via Spectrophotometric Absorbance in Seven Freshwater Algae and a Cyanobacterium" by Neil Rohde and Pickhardt.
- "Development of Oxidative Damage Model Using Stem Cell Derived Astrocytes" by Lauren Bruggink and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Jered McGivern.
- "Effects of Cell Cycle Arrest on [PSI+] Curing by GuanidineHydrochloride and Dimethyl Sulfoxide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae" by Thomas Coleman and Professor of Biology Gregory Smith.
- "Curing the [PSI+] Prion State Using Dimethyl Sulfoxide" by Samuel Bartlett and Smith.
Lakeland's cell tissue lab being put to good use this summer
Imagine taking an adult cell, wiping its coded memory clean, then re-programming it to become any kind of cell needed to benefit humanity.
That’s an oversimplified way to describe the exciting work Lakeland College students Jamie Gundlach and Suzette Rosas are doing this summer under the tutelage of Jered McGivern, Lakeland’s assistant professor of biochemistry.
The trio’s cutting-edge experimentation is taking place in Lakeland’s brand new Feldmann Lab, which opened in spring thanks to an $840,000 gift from 1969 graduate Clifford Feldmann.
Chemistry students unite
Energy and enthusiasm coursed through Lakeland College’s natural sciences division on Monday, when about 60 Sheboygan Falls High School juniors and seniors spent the day engaged in various chemistry experiments.
The high school students separated into groups, then rotated from station to station for six 35-minute chemistry experiments conducted by Lakeland College Chemistry Club students.
“This was great experience for the high school students and our Chemistry Club students,” said Brian Frink, Lakeland’s professor of chemistry and physics. “The high school students were able to participate in lab experiences that otherwise would not have been possible in their regular school day. And our Chem Club students were able to share their passion for chemistry and develop their leadership skills.”
Lakeland chemistry grads in high demand
Brian Frink has a bit of a supply and demand problem.
Frink, professor of chemistry/physics at Lakeland College, has been fielding phone calls from world-class local companies and even "headhunters" who know what Lakeland chemistry grads can do – and would like to hire them.
The only problem is Frink's graduates are hired faster than he can produce them.
Recent Grads, Real Careers
Listed below are just some of the jobs or graduate school positions Lakeland University biochemistry students from recent graduating classes have landed:
- Quality control analyst, ChemDesign
- Lab technician, Food Safety Net Services
- Microbiologist, Johnsonville Sausage
- Graduate student (Ph.D.), Michigan State University
- Lab technician, Heresite Protective Coatings
- Quality control chemist, Hydrite Chemical Company
- Graduate student (Ph.D.), Tulane University
- Graduate student (Ph.D.), University of Michigan
- Molecular support scientist, Third Wave Technologies