Dr. Malcom Lippert, associate professor of biology at Saint
Michael's College, has been awarded a $197,456 grant from the
National Institutes of Health. Professor Lippert, a resident of
Jericho, Vt., learned of the grant over the summer and has since
been fully engaged in the sponsored research project,
“Transcription-associated mutations,” with two Saint Michael’s
students, William Crall of Pittsfield, Mass., and Matthew Alexander
of Richmond, Vt. Dr. Lippert's track record of training student
scientists helped land this NIH grant.
The three-year NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award is
specifically designed to advance science and train young scientists
at four-year colleges. Professor Lippert’s success in helping his
students become serious scientists was a key factor in his selection
for the grant. Recently he has had students go to graduate school at
Dartmouth, UMass, Worcester, the University of Washington, and
dental school at the University of Buffalo.
Professor Lippert and his two students, who each received
summer stipends from the grant, are spent their days, and sometimes
nights, in the labs at Saint Michael’s examining the mechanisms in
cells that cause mutations. Excessive or uncontrolled mutations, or the unregulated
growth of cells, can result in cancers. Thus their research seeks
answers to the question of why transcription elevates the rate of
mutation, and is directly connected to understanding and finding
ways to treat and prevent genetic diseases, particularly cancer.
The three scientists presented the results of their research at the
39th annual Environmental Mutagen Society conference in Puerto Rico,
Oct. 18-22, 2008. They are also expected to publish their findings
in a peer-reviewed journal.
“On top of the research results, it’s so rewarding to see students
love research and continue it in their careers,” Professor Lippert