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Two biology students selected as Cherng Summer Scholars

May 30, 2017

Abbey Robinson and Braden Zink are among twelve students selected for the prestigious Cherng Summer Scholars program.

The highly competitive program provides $7,000 to selected undergraduate students to fund research projects or artistic endeavors over a summer. This is the first year students could apply for the summer program, which is administered by the MU Honors College.

“The application is extremely rigorous, and the most important criteria are the level of success demonstrated by the student’s involvement in prior projects and the potential for the student’s proposed project to result in a path breaking outcome—a new discovery, new information, or providing a new expression through artistry,” said J.D. Bowers, director of the MU Honors College.

As a Cherng Summer Scholar, Zink will use cutting-edge computer imaging techniques and sophisticated genomic technologies to evaluate the relationship between seed size and amino acid composition in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. He will be carrying out his research in the lab of Ruthie Angelovici, an assistant professor of biological sciences and an investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

Robinson will study temperature-responsive proteins that have the potential to be used as “molecular switches” to control and study neurons. She will be carrying out her research in the lab of Troy Zars, an associate professor of biological sciences.

Two additional students selected as Cherng Summer Scholars will be carrying out their research with mentors from the Division of Biological Sciences. Jacqueline Ihnat, who is majoring in business management, will be studying the role of specialized cells in muscle regeneration and how they interact with muscle fibers in the lab of Associate Professor D CornelisonJulie Brose, a biochemistry major, will study how the doubling of genetic material impacts the amino acid content of cole crops in the lab of Professor J. Chris Pires. Pires and Cornelison are investigators in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

A new program at MU, Cherng Summer Scholars is supported by the Panda Charitable Foundation led by MU alumni Andrew and Peggy Cherng, founders of Panda Express. The Cherngs recently gave a $1.5 million gift to the MU Honors College to support scholarships, programs, and study abroad opportunities for high-achieving students.


Pictures courtesy of MU Honors College.

Related research strengths:
Genetics & Genomics, Neurobiology, Plant Biology, Quantitative & Computational Biology
Related categories:
Awards, Undergraduate Studies