Durham Tech students present research to national audience

Michael Herrera and Roselyn Barahona present the Phage Hunters class poster entitled Phage Pharming: Characterization of Two Novel Phages, Kimchi and Glexan, Isolated in the Gardens of North Carolina.

Michael Herrera and Roselyn Barahona present the Phage Hunters class poster entitled Phage Pharming: Characterization of Two Novel Phages, Kimchi and Glexan, Isolated in the Gardens of North Carolina.

Two Durham Tech students were among 300 participants that presented their research at the 9th Annual SEA-PHAGES Symposium, June 9-11, at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia.

“I was excited to find out I would be representing Durham Tech at the SEA-PHAGES symposium,” Herrera said. “Durham Tech really has been a wonderful place to learn and continuously surprises me with the many amazing opportunities outside of the classroom it has provided.”

Michael Herrera, 31, and Roselyn Barahona, 18, presented the Phage Hunters class poster entitled Phage Pharming: Characterization of Two Novel Phages, Kimchi and Glexan, Isolated in the Gardens of North Carolina. They worked on this research project for two semesters and were mentored by Doctor Steve Leadon, a biology instructor at Durham Tech.

“This is a valuable and unique educational experience for our students because it is a discovery-based undergraduate research course that puts authentic research in the classroom,” Leadon said. “The culmination of the two-semester course is the opportunity to share their research findings with other students doing similar work at a national symposium. The course emphasizes the idea that research is a collaborative and interactive process, and that the students are adding to a body of knowledge that is helpful to others.”

This is the second year Durham Tech students have presented posters at the symposium, which is an end-of-academic-year meeting that brings together SEA-PHAGES students and faculty members from around the country to connect and share their research through poster sessions and talks.

After graduation this fall, Herrera plans to transfer to UNC, NC State, or Wilmington to pursue a degree in marine biology while Barahona will be transferring to UNC this fall.

For more information on SEA-PHAGES, visit here.

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