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Northern Receives Grant for Student Research Initiative

Española, NM – Northern New Mexico College has been awarded $48,000 BLOOME Grant from the American Society of Plant Biologists for its Plant Educational Experience in Research (PEER) project.

Dr. Mario Izaguirre-Sierra, who heads up the project, says that his Biology of the Cell Nucleus Lab is unique in that it employs undergraduate students to do real biologic research, something generally reserved for graduate students. Since the fall of 2013, Izaguirre-Sierra has trained 11 students at different levels, including one high school student.

“I think this speaks to the fact that Northern has something unique to offer undergraduates,” Izaguirre-Sierra said. “Most of this type of research is being done in graduate laboratories but we are doing the exact same thing here.”

The primary goal of the PEER project is to engage students in relevant and stimulating laboratory experiences that will develop curiosity and understanding about science, biology, technology and plant science specifically. The program also engages students in peer mentoring and outreach.

Izagruirre-Sierra says he encourages his students to present at conferences. This July, four of his students will present at the American Society of Plant Biology Conference in Portland, OR.  Several students also presented at this year’s Academic Research and Creativity Symposium.

Izaguirre-Sierra joined Northern’s Biology Department last year and has been invited to speak at the Max Planck Society in Germany, the National Center for Scientific Research in France, and the American Society for Cell Biology Workshop in Puerto Rico.

For more information, Contact:
Dr. Mario Izaguirre-Sierra
Assistant Professor of Biology
Northern New Mexico College
921 N. Paseo de Oñate
Española, NM 87532
(505) 747-5474, 

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