Baylor Freshmen Win 1st Place at UT Austin’s CTURC 2021
Baylor freshmen Sai Sagireddy and Mary Mersereau received 1st place at the Capital of Texas Research Conference on March 6th, 2021.
The Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference aims to create a collaborative environment among researchers by promoting the importance of undergraduate research. Hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, the conference is run by the Research Student Advisory Council, Texas Undergraduate Research Journal, the Senate of College Councils, and the Office of Undergraduate Research in UT’s School of Undergraduate Studies.
Sai Sagireddy, raised in Trinidad & Tobago, is a University Scholars major with concentrations in Biology and Medical Humanities. Mary Mersereau, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, is a biology major. Their research project, the 24 MultiWell Protocol, was designed as part of the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science program (SEA-PHAGES) sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directed by Dr. Tamarah Adair, Senior Lecturer of Biology and Director of URSA.
“We designed the MultiWell Protocol after we saw several students in our lab constantly testing soil samples, yet failing to receive a positive result,” Sagireddy said. “This protocol can be used to test multiple samples at a time or to conduct comparative studies and test new hypotheses,” Mersereau said.
“Sai and Mary are great examples of the results possible from course-based research experiences for first year students,” Adair said. “Their success in learning to ask questions, solve problems, and communicate their findings is evident in this award. I know they will transfer these skills to new areas.”