University of Montana Western biology alumna Rebecca Badgett won the first-place award for poster presentations at the Montana Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting in April 2013.
Badgett's poster, "Generating a LacI-Producing Derivative of Borrelia burgdorferi Strain 297-AH130," detailed her research with UMW Associate Professor of Biology Michael Gilbert in the UMW Biology Research Laboratory studying Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
"...Not all undergraduate students have the opportunity to be involved with a research project, and it's pretty great to attend as small of a college as Montana Western and have the chance to do so," Badgett said.
Badgett said the competition and award took her by surprise.
"To be entirely honest, I wasn't aware that the meeting's poster session was a competition until halfway through the evening," Badgett admitted. "I just thought it would be a good opportunity to present my research poster at a state meeting, so it was very exciting to hear that I had received the award."
Badgett worked in the UMW laboratory since her freshman year, assisting Gilbert with his ongoing research on Borrelia burgdorferi. Genetically, it is a highly unique bacteria and the student and professor worked to learn more about the bacteria's molecular mechanisms of transmission. The goal of the research is to develop a strain of B. burgdorferi that can be genetically manipulated to gain better understanding of the bacteria.
Badgett said the research opened up many new skills and opportunities for her.
"I have enjoyed working on this research project," she explained. "I have gained numerous laboratory skills, a thesis topic and travel opportunities. Also, I had the chance to present this same poster last summer in Washington, D.C. at the National IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence. Not all undergraduate students have the opportunity to be involved with a research project, and it's pretty great to attend as small of a college as Montana Western and have the chance to do so."
Badgett graduated from Montana Western in spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and is in the process of applying to optometry schools.
Help Montana Western preserve its rich educational traditions and build upon UMW’s exceptional history by participating the Legacy Campaign. Click here for more information.
See the University of Montana Western difference firsthand at our special XDay event. Call 877-683-7331 to reserve your spot today.
It's really the best way to decide which college or university is right for you. Click here to set up a visit today. And, oh by the way, we have a special gift for you just for stopping by.
We’d like to tell you more about our remarkable university. Just click here and we’ll send you information.
The 2010 Montana Professor of the Year is continuing a proud tradition at Montana's premier teacher education institution.
The Carnegie Foundation's 2009 U.S. Professor of the Year is taking Montana Western's experiential learning to the national stage.
Misha Craddock may have finally found her place at the University of Montana Western.
Montana Western's biology program is now competitive in the national arena thanks to nearly $2 million in grants secured by Mike Morrow.