UNT students earn national research placement

Zane Gibbs and Son Le
Zane Gibbs (left) and Son Le (right) earned research placements through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program.
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 08:35

DENTON (UNT), Texas --  Zane Gibbs and Son Le, undergraduate biology students in the University of North Texas Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program, each earned placements in the national Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program.

The Exceptional Research Opportunities Program aims to cultivate the next generation of advanced research scientists, including those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Only 80 students across the U.S. were chosen for this year's program.

"It is a great honor to be nominated for the program," Le said. "As an international student from Vietnam, I had never thought of being able to do research with some of the best scientists in the world at a world-class research facility. This research award will offer me a unique opportunity to solidify my love of neuroscience."

Le will work with Eric Gouaux at Oregon Health & Science University on a project investigating the molecular mechanisms of communication between nerve cells by studying the receptors and transporters that detect and remove neurotransmitters from synapses, which are the site of nerve cell communication. Le's research mentor at UNT is Professor of Biology Guenter W. Gross.

"I'm so excited to have been chosen for the summer research program," Gibbs said. "This opportunity will help me learn new lab skills and techniques, and develop interpersonal skills and build relationships with other scientists."

Gibbs is going to the University of Colorado at Boulder where he will work with Associate Professor Joaquin Espinosa on a cancer research project investigating a tumor suppressor gene. Gibbs' research mentor at UNT is Associate Professor of Biology Lee Hughes.

More information about the research program can be found online.

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