Lakeland University Blog

LU science research included in national publication

LU science research included in national publication


LU science research included in national publication

Lakeland Professor of Biology Greg Smith and LU graduate Tom Coleman are included as authors on a research paper published by PLOS ONE, an online, open-access journal. The lead author is Smith’s research collaborator, Anita Manogaran, a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Marquette University.

Data from the experiments Coleman performed during the summer of 2018 while participating in Lakeland’s LURE program are included in the paper. Coleman graduated from Lakeland with a biochemistry degree last year and is now a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate in Concordia University-Wisconsin’s pharmacy program. Lakeland and CUW have a transfer agreement for this program.

“Whenever we are able to publish work performed by students, it validates the quality of the research experiences available at Lakeland,” Smith said. “Tom's research was able to be combined with the work in Dr. Manogaran's lab at Marquette to further our understanding of how the chemical DMSO can help break up protein aggregates, called prions, which aggregate in yeast cells.

“Prions can cause serious neurological diseases in mammals, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk and Mad Cow Disease in bovines. This research paper provides insight into the impacts of prions on individual cells and how treatments might mitigate those effects.”

Lakeland’s LURE program gives students an opportunity to experience first-hand what laboratory work is like and pairs them with LU professors to tackle real-world research opportunities.

Coleman said he joined the LURE program because he thought it would be an interesting experience and serve as a summer job.

“It turned out to be more exciting than I could have hoped for and was one of the most unique experiences I've had in my academic career,” Coleman said. “Not all institutions offer research opportunities, but with Lakeland's LURE program I was able to truly begin my career as a scientist and immerse myself in research and data to learn more about the world we live in.

“My research was rooted in microbiological work to begin exploring the importance of a fatal disease and how we could potentially treat it.”

Coleman said the freedom students have in research and the connections that grow from it are what makes LURE special for Lakeland students.

“This is an experience I would recommend to all students, not just those interested in research, because it opens up a world of opportunity and provides valuable experiences of working with others, working with data and having fun,” Coleman said.

PLOS ONE aims to accelerate the pace of scientific advancement and demonstrate its value by freely publishing and widely disseminating all rigorous science. The online journal accepts research in more than 200 subject areas across science, engineering, medicine and the related social sciences and humanities.

You can access the complete paper that Smith and Coleman contributed to here.

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