Roanoke College conducts summer research on tuberculosis

by Marcus Stewart on October 29, 2015

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Lydiah Mpyisi, a senior at Roanoke College, was one of the students who did research on campus during Summer 2015. Lydiah worked in the Chemistry Department on an independent research project. Her research focused on a better understanding of the four putative Glutamine synthetases found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent for tuberculosis disease. Lydiah decided to pursue the project because of her interest in medicine and desire to get experience doing laboratory work. She became involved in Dr. Johann’s research work, which focuses on finding potential targets for drugs against tuberculosis.

Lydiah spent her time conducting experiments, doing literature research, and updating her lab notebook. She’s enjoyed working together with Dr. Johann on the project.

“He is always available to answer any questions or concerns that I may have, regardless of whether they are research related or career related questions. In addition, I have been able to fit research hours into my schedule and sometimes Dr. Johann stays late just to help me conduct my research. I would say being involved in on-campus research is one of the best experiences that I’ve had in my undergraduate experience so far.”

Lydiah’s favorite part of her project are the times when experiments go late into the night.

“I stay in the lab until midnight setting up an experiment that needs to run through the night, and then I find positive results the following morning. I’m usually filled with joy and lots of satisfaction from my hard work.”

For people considering research, Lydiah says:

“Research will lead you into numerous opportunities that you never anticipate. It is through my research experience that I got an internship with Novozymes – an international biotechnology company. I used my research for my honors project and now I’m in the process of earning an honors in Biology through the same research. In addition, I earned class credit through the same research and ended up earning a minor in Chemistry without having planned for it.”

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