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Student Research Fellowship

Justin Hutchison


Justin Hutchison '06

Davenport, Iowa
Donald Anderson Fellow, Roy J. Carver Scholar

Study of the structure and function of "knockouts," or yeast cells that have specific genes inactivated
Mentor: Dr. Lori Scott, Biology


Justin Hutchison was taking biology professor Dr. Lori Scott's class in molecular genetics when the applications for the Anderson fellowships were posted. He asked Dr. Scott to partner with him on a project, and together they worked out a research proposal that led to their work on the genetics of yeast cells. The "student-oriented" nature of the project is something Hutchison deeply appreciates.

"This is an experience I've never quite had before. One always talks about the student-professor relationship in the classroom, but this approach I've really become comfortable with. It's almost to the point where it's a peer-peer relationship I have with Dr. Scott. We're more like equals. She's my mentor, yet she is my friend. And of course she continuously provides me with knowledge about our topic and points me and guides me.

This research has taught me that as you gather your evidence, you've got to think of every claim that everyone will make against you. So that if they say, "No, you're wrong," you can say, "But look, I've got this evidence here, here and here." It taught me to think on a higher level...not just about my own opinion or my own view, but to also think about how others in the field will respond."

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