Aug 252003
Authors: Lindsay Robinson

CSU senior Aubrey Peiffer will be spending her summer in a

different environment than many students.

Peiffer, a zoology major, was chosen as one of 12 students

nationally to receive the American Physiological Society Summer

Research Fellowship, during which she will work with an APS member

for 10 weeks during the summer.

The award, for which 57 undergraduate students competed,

provides $2,000 to cover travel and living costs and an additional

$800 for the student to present his or her research at the

Experimental Biology meeting.

“I needed the funds to continue my research over the summer and

into the school year,” Peiffer said. Peiffer will be working with

CSU biology professor Gregory Florant to conduct her research.

The focus of the duo’s research is on fat cell size and lipid

content in relation to the resistance of an insulin-signaling

protein called Kinase B. The pair is studying yellow-bellied

marmots because their insulin-resistance characteristics are

similar to that occurring in Type II Diabetes in humans.

Peiffer, who has been doing research for four years, thinks the

APS Research fellowship is a fantastic program.

“I’ve learned there are possibilities out there to fund

research,” she said.

She believes having a program such as the fellowship is of,

“immeasurable importance. It promotes kids to get in the lab.

Usually, the limiting factor in a lab is financial,” Peiffer


The program is also beneficial to organizations such as APS

because it introduces students to physiological research, which is

why it was initially created four years ago.

“We’d like to get (undergraduate students) to consider a career

in physiological research,” said Melinda Lowy, higher education

program coordinator for APS.

Aside from research funding, students receive the option of

presenting their findings at the Experimental Biology meeting,

which is attended by many major scientific societies and nearly

15,000 scientists. It is a good opportunity for students interested

in the biomedical field, Lowy said.

“Experience-wise, it’s huge,” Peiffer said. “It’ll be the first

time I’ve presented any of my data in front of anyone besides

coworkers and professors. It’s also a big opportunity to meet

people and network.”

The meeting is held in Washington, D.C. in April.

Peiffer said she’s always been interested in science.

“I’ve just always been a curious person and [in science] there’s

always something out there that needs to be fixed or changed,” she


She intends to continue her education after she graduates this


“My plan is to get my doctorate and then conduct my own research

while I teach at a university,”


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