Lake Forest College Professor Wins $500,000 for Research
Karen Kirk, assistant professor of biology at Lake Forest College, has been awarded a five-year $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for molecular genetics research.
Kirk's study of telomeres, a portion of a cell's chromosome that affects cell division, has been linked to cell life span, which may have implications in cancer research and the aging process.
"I'm really excited about this award," Kirk said. "It's a great thing for the college. And it's not just about getting the money. It's about national recognition that will help lead to future funding."
Kirk's award will not only finance lab-related expenses for the college such as equipment and supplies, but it will integrate student research in Kirk's teaching.
A third benefit will be funding to create a course for biology and education students at the college. These students would then collaborate to prepare curriculum for middle school science club activities.
A middle school in Waukegan is slated to be the first recipient of the curriculum plan.
Kirk said that along with the prepared club curriculum, having the physical contact with college students will benefit the middle school students by establishing a bond. …