Shant Mahserejian, a graduate student in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, was granted a fellowship to work as a research assistant at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). During the summer and a portion of the fall semester, Shant is conducting a series of experiments aimed at cataloging a library of images and videos for nine strains of the Myxococcus xanthus bacteria. He is working with high end laboratory equipment to help progress research of this type of bacteria into uncharted territory.
Shant credits this opportunity to his participation with the ACMS department's Mathematical and Computational Biology Group, which is led by Mark Alber, the Vincent J. Duncan Family Professor of Applied Mathematics. The group's collaborations around the Notre Dame campus developed Shant's hand-on laboratory skills by nurturing the transition from his applied mathematics background into his abilities to handle, grow, and prepare bacteria for observation and data collection. The department's collaborations off-campus also played an important role in exposing Shant to a national laboratory setting, where professionals and students from a wide range of backgrounds oversee projects involving a variety of scientific disciplines.
Shant says he looks forward to his return to campus to share his newly broadened perspective, and to move forward in his own interdisciplinary research projects at Notre Dame.
Originally published by Melissa Ornat at acms.nd.edu on September 30, 2013.