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Evolutionary geneticist to deliver Merck Science Seminar at UIS

March 28, 2007

Contact: Keenan Dungey, 217/206-7345, dungey.keenan@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Rob DeSalle, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, will present the first annual Merck Science Seminar at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  DeSalle's presentation, "What Genomics Tells Us about Our Origins," will be from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 2, in room 302 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus.  The seminar is free and open to the public.

DeSalle's research uses information present in the structure of DNA and protein molecules to address evolutionary questions.  DeSalle also uses these types of data to address important issues in conservation biology. 

The seminar is sponsored by a grant from the Merck Institute of Science Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, part of the Merck/AAAS undergraduate science research program started in 2000. UIS was one of only 11 universities in the nation to receive the award in 2006.

In addition to funding the annual seminar, the grant supports four undergraduate students to do research each summer for the next three years.  The students are mentored in collaborative projects by faculty from the science programs at their institutions; at UIS this includes Chemistry (faculty mentors Keenan Dungey and Gary Trammell), Biology (faculty mentors Michael Lemke, Amy McEuen, and Lucia Vazquez), and Clinical Laboratory Science (faculty mentor Wayne Gade).

For more information, contact Dungey by phone at 217/206-7345 or by e-mail at dungey.keenan@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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