They’re out of this world: Nicole Wagner and Shican (Claire) Li named Cosmos Scholars!

Congratulations to Nicole Wagner of the Johnson Lab and Shican (Claire) Li of the Elmendorf Lab! Nicole and Claire were named Cosmos Scholars, receiving grants for their incredible research from the Cosmos Club Foundation, an organization that supports graduate research in the Washington, DC area.

Claire’s proposed research will analyze the behavioral responses of mucus-interacting microorganisms to the mucus environment of the hosts they infect. She will focus on Giardia lamblia, a protozoan parasite that infects the human GI tract and acts as a perfect model organism for the study because of the manner in which its flagella affect and are affected by intestinal mucus.

For her research project, Nicole will study the ability of proteins to survive in extreme environments like Lake Untersee in Antarctica! To do this, she will perform a metaproteomic analysis of anoxic sediment from the lake floor. Ultimately, Nicole wants to determine if proteins from this sediment can be used as reliable evidence of life!

Congratulations to our Cosmos Scholars Nicole and Shican (Claire), and we can’t wait to see your successes with these projects!