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Engaged Scholar: Tabitha Threatt

Engaged Scholar: Tabitha Threatt

I perform research through the Honors College Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. I have always been interested in infectious disease, so I decided to work in this subject area at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement has been helpful over the course of my research. Getting started in research can be daunting, as it can be hard to find a program and lab. CALUE helped me get started by showing me the number of programs through which I could perform research. There are many, but I decided to go with the Honors College.

I began my research experience in the Fall 2012 at the HSC. I spent seven months in a mycology lab studying the organism Candida albicans, which is the cause of candidiasis and numerous other human diseases. After I presented my research at the HSC Student Research Week and the Texas Tech University Undergraduate Research Conference, I decided to expand my horizons and move to another lab working in a similar area. My current work is essentially a search for compounds and proteins that will inhibit bacterial membrane pumps that promote antibiotic resistance. Since joining this lab a little over a month ago, I have learned many molecular techniques. I will soon be beginning my project for the coming year, which involves using bacteriophage in the search for an antibiotic.

Both TTU and CALUE have been very important in helping me achieve my goal of working in the area of infectious disease. Without both organizations, I would not have had the opportunity or resources to pursue this goal. This past year, I received the Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarship through CALUE. This Scholarship will be very helpful to me over the course of the next year. I look forward to continue working with the Center!