With a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute students at the University of Michigan will get real-world research experience. The program is lead by Deborah Goldberg, the Elzada U. Clover Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As part of the initial phase of the program Dr. Schmidt launched the microbiome project in Winter 2015 and has accepted 200 students to date. So far the microbiome project has focused on the effects of dietary supplements such as potato starch and different types of fiber. Both the control group and the students ingesting supplements collect breath, skin, and fecal samples for analysis in the Schmidt lab. Nicole Haggerty, a U of M freshman has the following to say.
“I remember telling my mom, ‘I have to poop for class,’” Haggerty said. “It was the funniest thing. ‘Anything to get an A,’” she’d joked.
The article goes on to describe the program in more detail as well as to discuss the challenges faced by this kind of research. Click here to read the full article.