Cellular Science

Michele Lemons, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Assumption College, was recently awarded a $188,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for her ongoing research on neuron cells. The three-year grant begins in April 2011 and concludes in the spring of 2014.

“If we better understand how the axons guide neurons to their appropriate targets during normal development, we may be able to promote damaged axons to navigate back to their original targets in adults with spinal cord injuries,” Lemons says. She hopes the lessons learned in her research can be applied to spinal cord regeneration.

The grant enables Lemons to pay students to help with the research. Three Assumption undergraduates will work full time during the summers with Lemons and one student will work during each academic year on this project.

“This is a fabulous opportunity for students who either want to go to graduate school or medical school,” says Lemons. In addition grant funds will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art epifluorescent microscope that has a high resolution digital camera and a computer loaded with software that controls the microscope and camera.

Lemons joined the Assumption faculty in 2007. She did her undergraduate work in biology at the College of William & Mary and earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Florida.

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