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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

Learning from A to Z: The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


Alayne Brown '03 with chemistry professor Dr. Stacia Rink, working with radiolabeled DNA

Undergraduate research studies at PLU are at an unprecedented level. Last year, research paper topics ranged from "Fatty Acid Desaturase 2 Gene in young zucchini" to "Study of water use, gas exchange and physiology of hardwoods on a presumed water gradient." There are several projects currently underway, including Mei Zhu's work on mathematical modeling of butterflies (pg. 5). Chemistry and physics faculty began doing research one-on-one with undergraduates in the '60s.

Since 1995, PLU's Division of Natural Sciences has received funding from the M.J. Murdock College Science Research Program. The Trust continues to provide research equipment and summer salaries for faculty and student researchers from all departments in the Natural Sciences.

PLU's Office of Development has raised $332,400 in gifts and pledges, and the Trust has made a partial award of $130,000. To secure additional funding, PLU must raise $267,600 by March, 2002. An endowment of $1.5 to $2 million is planned to fully support the natural sciences undergraduate research program.



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