Terry Hafer, a sophomore Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at Penn State Berks, was recently accepted into the 2014 summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Wadsworth Center. This National Science Foundation-sponsored REU Site program will run from June 9?August 14, 2014.
Hafer will be working under Dr. Paul Masters, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Viral Replication and Vector Biology, who conducts research on coronaviruses, which are common among mammalian and avian species and are known to cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The virus is being studied by mutating the genome of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). The purpose of this research is to understand the roles of various proteins in coronaviruses, and the mechanism of coronavirus RNA replication. The researchers hope to gain an understanding of how to target the viral activity of coronaviruses.
?Opportunities such as these are the reason why I know I made the right decision to start at Berks,? states Hafer. ?I have gotten to know my professors well, and I have had so much one-on-one interaction with them.?
The REU Program at Wadsworth Center requires their research fellows to attend weekly workshops, seminars, and meetings. The students are also responsible for keeping a daily journal over the ten-week period. At the end of the period, students must submit a final written report and give an oral presentation at a student research symposium.