Pectinaria gouldii and Phragmatopoma lapidosa are two different marine annelids that make and secrete a biocement used to construct a protective enclosure for them to live.
Research in biochemistry at Coe employs techniques in protein biochemistry, molecular genetics/biology, electron microscopy and bioinformatics to help understand these organisms and the cement they secrete.
You will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with protein biochemist Dr. Maria Dean (Department of Chemistry), conducting cutting-edge experiments and interpreting complex data. In addition to research at Coe, you also can take advantage of a wide variety of internships available in Cedar Rapids — Iowa's second largest city. In recent years, students have interned at Cargill, Penford Products, the University of Iowa and a variety of medical settings.
One of the hallmarks of a Coe education in the sciences is hands-on use of instrumentation. Whether you’re doing research or taking classes, you will have the opportunity to get experience using instrumentation and software many students don’t use until graduate school. Among the tools you will be using are several kinds of chromatography (ion exchange, hydrophobic, size exclusion), electrophoresis (DNA, RNA, protein), spectrophotometry, PCR, dialysis and centrifugation. In the research lab, you’ll also utilize:
- Atomic force microscopy
- Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy
- Raman microscopy