Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry with R. Forbes-Lorman

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Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. Research opportunities allow science students to work on specific projects associated with faculty members’ expertise. Students typically begin by working in an apprenticeship model with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, modeling and theoretical analysis, written and oral communication, collaboration and critical thinking. These are valuable skills for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market.

Robin Forbes-Lorman (biology) is interested in neurobiology, molecular neuroscience, and cell physiology. She uses  C. elegans  (roundworms) as a model organism. Potential student projects include investigating a C. elegans gene that is homologous to a human gene, potentially one that is implicated in human disease. They will use bioinformatics tools and primary literature to learn about their gene’s function in humans and worms, and will use molecular biology lab techniques to determine how the disruptions in the gene affects worm’s phenotype. Students can also investigate the impact of environmental stressors on gene expression, development, and behavior. Through these projects, students have the opportunity to gain experience in relevant techniques including RNA interference, Western immunoblotting, bioinformatics, and behavioral analysis.

Program Details

Fields of Study


Preparatory For



Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

No Required Online Learning