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Biology

Melissa Kroll

Melissa Kroll

Melissa Kroll pushed further into research that Dordt biology students have been doing on the Cux1 protein which plays a role in kidney development and disease. Since 2001, students of Dr. Tony Jelsma have worked in cooperation with Dr. Greg Vanden Heuvel’s (ex’83) lab at the University of Kansas Medical Center to learn more about the Cux1 protein. In a Histology class at Dordt College, this protein was also found in the testes. Kroll studied patterns of expression in the cells in which the protein was found and noted at what stage in sperm development they occurred. By using new digital photography equipment, Kroll was able to count more carefully the number of cells found and better analyze her findings. Jelsma has begun writing a paper, with Kroll and other former Dordt students as collaborators, reporting on their original research.

“Because of our teaching loads, we couldn’t do this kind of ongoing original research without collaborating with a lab like Dr. Vanden Heuvel’s,” says Jelsma.

“I would recommend summer research to others. It’s a great way to meet people and a great way to get to know the professors. It helped me decide whether I wanted to do research as a job or not,” says Kroll.