Biotechnology major Cheyenne Lee will be headed for Yale University this summer (2017) as she takes part in the prestigious Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP). Cheyenne was one of 400 students nominated for the 10-week, paid program, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The program is designed for talented undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have potential to both excel in graduate school and in academic science. Upon Dr. Maria Santisteban’s recommendation, Sarah Elgin, a HHMI Board member, nominated Cheyenne for the position last November. Cheyenne was notified in January of her EXROP award.
Cheyenne will be joining Dr. Christine Jacobs Wagner’s research laboratory at Yale University. Working 40-hours per week in the lab, Cheyenne’s research internship will focus on cell regulation. The EXROP experience includes research conferences at the HHMI headquarters in Maryland, in May of 2017 and 2018, where Cheyenne will have opportunities to present her research, learn about other research programs, and network with her peers and with HHMI scientists.
Cheyenne is a sophomore who has joint appointments with the UNC Pembroke RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) and COMPASS Programs. She is also a first generation Native American student from the Pee Dee tribe of South Carolina. During the past year, she has been doing research in the Sandefur Lab exploring the antimicrobial properties of Lumbee medicinal plants. The Biology Department wishes her the best in the exceptional research opportunity that awaits her at Yale University.