An early introduction to hands-on research has paid off for Rachel Yerden ’19.
Yerden, a Biology and Chemical Engineering double major from Redfield, N.Y., has been a co-author on two peer-reviewed publications; one of which she is co-first author with Assistant Professor of Biology Petra Kraus.
“The best thing that has happened for me at Clarkson is my research position in the biology department with Professor Thomas Lufkin and Assistant Professor Petra Kraus,” Yerden said. “Since I’ve been here, they’ve nurtured my interests and helped me develop projects that support my double major, chemical engineering and biology.”
Kraus, along with Biology Chair Thomas Lufkin, have been conducting research in the area of regenerative medicine for degenerative disease — specifically, lower back pain and disc injuries.
Yerden’s research with the Kraus and Lufkin has been on RNA detection technology. The group has used disc cells from cow tails to quantify and qualify gene expression at the single-cell level. The exact description of a healthy cell gives a baseline for cellular changes.
She recently attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Arizona, which let her make connections that allowed her entry into one of the most prestigious regenerative neuroscience labs in the nation.
Yerden is currently working on her class list for the spring semester when she will be traveling abroad in Australia at Monash University. Her desire for hands-on research has been vital to her peer publications and the advancement of her education.
“I’ve been told that the research experience I’ve gained in nearly three years as an undergraduate at Clarkson is more extensive than what some graduate students achieve in their entire Ph.D. training,” she said. “Clarkson actually embraces the undergraduate research experience.”
Click on this link to watch a video of Rachel in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXqNxgztZ0Y#action=share