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Plant Signal Transduction and Reproduction (Cheung Lab) - FULL

Our competitive Research Intensives program places high-achieving high school students in professional working labs alongside distinguished faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

Research Intensive in the Plant Signal Transduction and Reproduction (Cheung Lab)

Our lab's primary interest is understanding how plants reproduce to make seeds. While this is an important problem, since plant reproduction feeds the world and maintains an ecological balance, the process involves fascinating biology. Unlike animal sperm, plant sperm cannot swim – how does it travel to find its mate, the egg, for fertilization? Our research depends on experimental approaches ranging from molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and biochemistry, not unlike research in other systems ranging from bacteria to animals, normal development or development into the diseased states. Also plants need to grow to reach maturity in order to reproduce. Plant growth is complex and depends on a large number of hormones and other regulators. We also study how plants perceive and respond to these regulators to orchestrate growth and development.

Projects for high school students will range from generating genetically transformed plants to study expression of genes that are important for reproduction, and to dissect their functions, to biochemical approaches to produce and characterize the structures and functions of these proteins. Students will have the opportunity to learn how genetically modified plants are produced, work with molecular genotyping methods by polymerase chain reaction, produce and purify large amounts of proteins to study their biochemical properties.

The Cheung lab can host 2 students. Learn more.

Program Overview

During this program, high school students will assist UMass faculty and graduate students in research labs while learning about research methodologies and contributing to ongoing research studies. Each student will create and present a research poster to faculty, fellow students, friends and family at a poster session at the end of the program.

Students will come away with an introduction to the field of Biochemistry, firsthand experience with university-level research, and an understanding of opportunities that exist for undergraduate students at a major R1 university such as UMass Amherst.



For all Research Intensives applications: In your statement of interest, please include 3 lab choices from our list of available labs along with a brief explanation of your interest in each one.

This course is offered at the UMass Amherst campus as a residential program. Local students may apply to attend as a commuter.