an e-newsletter for students and alumni of saint michael's biology department

Dr. Mac Lippert Awarded $200,000 NIH Grant for Genetics Research
By Buff Lindau




Dr. Mac Lippert
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 $4,000 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 said.


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