New Mexico AMP Horizons
Victoria Carpenter, Undergraduate Research Assistantship participant, earns acceptance to Duke University’s Cellular and Molecular Biology program.
Victoria Carpenter, New Mexico State University (NMSU) biology major who graduated with a B.S. in May 2011, has been accepted to Duke University’s Cellular and Molecular Biology program, with tuition paid. Victoria has been a research assistant to Dr. Immo Hansen, Asst. Professor of Biology, in the New Mexico AMP Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) program. Her research focused on using RNAi-mediated knockdown experiments to functionally characterize the role of a family of amino acid transporters on a nutrient signaling pathway in Aedes aegypti, the Yellow Fever mosquito. This work is especially important because mosquitoes are vectors for some of the world’s most debilitating diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and filariasis. The experience of this research project allowed Victoria to become familiar with commonly-used molecular techniques, such as western blotting, cloning, dsRNA and cDNA systhesis, PCR, and RNA isolation.
Victoria has written one published article entitled, “The Aquaporin Gene Family of the Yellow ever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti,” which focuses on characterizing the aquaporin gene family through RNAi-mediated knockdown experiments and diuresis assays. In addition, she is the primary author of a publication in review entitled “Mosquito CATs and HATs Characterization of the SLC7 Family Amino Acid Transporters of the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti.”
Victoria has presented research at two international scientific conferences: the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and at the Center for Disease Vector Research Symposium. Victoria also was awarded Third Place for presenting an oral presentation of her research at the 2010 New Mexico AMP Research Conference.
Victoria has served as a Peer Instructor for the Biology 111 Natural History of Life
workshop since fall of 2009. This position provided the opportunity for Victoria to interact with
students as a mentor while also developing and refining her own pedagogy. Victoria’s positive
experiences with teaching and mentoring have significantly shaped her career goals. Upon
obtaining a Ph.D. in molecular biology, Victoria hopes to continue research in a post-doctoral
position, then she plans to actively seek a faculty position.