Ferrum News

Ferrum Professor Awarded $100,000 Grant for Bacteria Research


 Michaela Gazdik, a Ferrum College assistant professor of molecular biology, has received a $100,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the gene structure of certain bacteria.

The funding will enable students to gain research experience in microbiology and molecular biology as they study gene regulation in a harmless bacterium that is closely related to the pathogenic bacterium linked to tuberculosis.

“The data we obtain from studying the genes in one bacterium can be extrapolated to gene regulation in the tuberculosis bacterium, thereby giving students the opportunity to study a pathogen of great public health significance in a safe setting using a non-pathogenic bacterium,” Gazdik said.

The three-year grant will give students an opportunity to participate in independent research projects and scientific research conferences around the country.

The grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institute of Health. The title of the grant is “Elucidating cAMP signaling in Mycobacterium smegmatis.”