Santa Clara University

The Johnson Scholars Program

Lauren Germany '14

Hometown: Scotts Valley, Calif.
Major/Minor: biology/public health
Mentor: Jessica Lucas, assistant professor, biology
Project: Genetic Analysis of MAP65-6 and 7 in Microtubule Organization and Cell Growth

Lauren Germany's research focuses on a fundamental biological question: "How do organisms grow?" Together with her mentor, Lauren tailored the project based on her interest in genetics and to better prepare for medical school. She will lead a team of other student researchers in examining how microtubule arrays in plant cells organize and function in morphogenesis, which is universally important for understanding cell growth. Working on this project will enhance Lauren's understanding of the relationships between genetics and physiology and greatly help her as a medical doctor, as genomics is increasingly being applied to medicine. Lauren also views this research as a new channel through which she can continue to serve underprivileged communities, as it has the potential to be applied to crops to develop food security for our ever-expanding population. This project will be the basis of Lauren's honors thesis, which she hopes to present at the annual meeting of The American Society of Plant Biology in Oregon next summer.