Students Praised by Oxford
By Sheldon Green
Three Concordia students received praise for their part of an international collaboration led by scientists at Oxford University, United Kingdom. The goal of the scientists is to find a new vaccine to fight meningitis.
Working alongside their faculty mentor, Dr. Ellen Aho, professor of biology, were Corey Horien '12, Thief River Falls, Minn., Lydia Stinar '12, Fargo, N.D., and Stephen Rostad '12, Kindred, N.D.
“This was a great opportunity,” Horien says. “It’s rare for undergraduates to be involved in a worldwide research project of this importance.”
Meningitis is a serious problem in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. This potentially fatal infection of the brain is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.
The Concordia team received DNA sequence information from the Oxford team and then analyzed the data using a variety of computer programs, a research approach known as bioinformatics.
The Concordia team exchanged ideas with their collaborators at Oxford via Skype conferences on a regular basis, and their findings will be part of a new database developed at Oxford to help researchers share information worldwide.
“The Oxford team complimented our students for doing really excellent work that addresses an important global health problem,” Aho says.
Photo: Sheldon Green