GlycoMIP "graduates" first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow

Maren Roman, Robert J. Woods

An important goal of the GlycoMIP project is educating and training the next generation of glycomaterials scientists. While larger summer schools and other outreach activities support this goal, it is often the smaller, more personal student-faculty interactions that have the greatest impact. As part of Virginia Tech's Fralin Life Sciences Institute (FLSI), GlycoMIP supported its first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, SURF, in 2021. A 10-week, 40-hours per week program of research and professional development activities, SURF offers motivated undergraduate students a glimpse of graduate research. Under the mentorship of GlycoMIP's Dr. Richard Helm, Zachary Hartman, a rising Junior in Virginia Tech's Department of Biochemistry was the first GlycoMIP SURF. Zach studied the cell wall structure of Lyme disease bacteria, spending time in the GlycoMIP user facility as well as several other laboratories on
campus. His work culminated in a presentation during a campus-wide symposium. GlycoMIP's continued participation in FLSl's successful SURF program adds an important dimension to its efforts to draw top U.S.-based talent to graduate study in glycan science.