Research Service Center

New Award - STEM Outreach

Monroe Duboise, USM Applied Medical Sciences, leads this collaborative project that involves  isolation, discovery, and characterization of bacteriophages in the environment. As hosts for the bacteriophages, the lab will use safe (BSL1) strains of bacteria that are commonly sold by Carolina Biological for high school classroom use. Much of the research of the Duboise lab group at USM involves study of bacteriophage molecular genetics, structure, and ecology. Study of virus model systems informed much of the early history of molecular and cellular biology. These continue to be among the most amenable systems in educational contexts for low cost research that can introduce students to many of the fundamental concepts and methods of molecular biology and genomics. The Maine ScienceCorps and the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) resources of USM’s Nano Discovery Labs have provided support for high school educational projects involving phage discovery over the past six years as reported in an article by Dr. Duboise and others in The Science Teacher (2009, April-May issue, page 32-39). The research done in high school classrooms on bacteriophage genomics can contribute findings that are of interest to the scientific community more generally.