Biology Research Spotlight

Through a partnership with the University of Wyoming, LCCC has its first research program and is working on some big things. It’s a very unique opportunity to have a research program at a community college. It’s not part of our traditional mission. In the past people have thought that there’s teaching and then there’s research, but in reality, research is teaching, and research is learning. Dr. Wangeline has received over $300,000 in grant funding from the National Institute of Health’s IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence, and started research in 2008. I fell in love with biology and Ami approached me and asked if I would like to do research with her through INBRE and I said why not. The ability for students to get research experience at a university, let alone at a community college, is a big boost to a student’s future. It really says, yes I have everything else that the other applicants have, but in addition, I can give you demonstrated success. The research that we’re doing, the quality of work that we’re doing, the publish ability of it, is just absolutely phenomenal. Undergrad students at four-year schools don’t get this kind of opportunity. The students are researching selenium levels in Wyoming and its impacts on animals in the area, discovering and identifying different forms of fungi and are even working on a cure for cancer. Another really exciting aspect that we work on is isolating compounds from these fungi and we have several that we’ve been able to isolate that are actually antagonistic, meaning that they kill cancer cells. My students are easily doing graduate student level work, and every single time I put a challenge in front of them, and I kind of condition it with, well this may be beyond what we’re capable of, they rise and they tackle it every time. I’m Lisa Murphy with this Laramie County Community College Spotlight.