Students will be working in the lab of Professor Dirk Inzé, director of the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), associated with Ghent University, in the historic city of Ghent. The Inzé lab is world renowned for their work uncovering basic cellular and genetic mechanisms that regulate leaf growth. During this internship, students will work under the supervision of Dr. Hilde Nelissen to analyze maize (corn) mutants defective in leaf growth. Students will learn how to perform a “kinematic analysis”, a standard assay to understand the contributions of both cell division and expansion to leaf growth. In addition, students will initiate a molecular analysis of their maize leaf growth mutants including mapping using high throughput sequence data. Field work will include a large-scale genetic screen for novel maize leaf growth mutants. Centrally located in Belgium and Europe, Ghent is an ideal location to experience both world-class plant biology research, as well as cultural treasures of art and architecture.
Students will be working with the lichen research group at the University Complutense de Madrid (UCM), lead by Dr. Pradeep Divakar. The amiable research group is a world-renowned center for lichen-related research. Students will be involved in a range of research of projects investigating the importance of lichen biodiversity in North American and Europe. Laboratory-based research activities include evaluating genetic diversity, culturing lichen symbionts, and working with the pharmacology department to identify biologically active compounds. There will be opportunities to be involved in fieldwork activities as well. Madrid is a cosmopolitan city with impressive cultural and artistic heritage, and UCM is located in “Ciudad Universitaria” at the center of the city.”