How do you spend your free time? 

Twelve Lorain County Community College biology students are spending their free time volunteering to study the genetic creation of salt water bio reporters.  “We are looking at dead zones in oceans,” said Dr. Kathryn Durham, LCCC associate professor in biology.  “We are studying areas where there is no growth and looking into what nutrients might be missing.” 

Dr. Durham, along with Dr. Adam Miller and Dr. Harry Kestler lead several research projects in the LCCC biotechnology lab.  “We have six projects going on right now,” said Kestler.  The research projects range from HIV study to what bacteria is causing disease in reptiles.  “It gives our students an edge,” said Durham.  “It gives them real experience to put on their resume that you don’t see on a lot of undergraduate resumes.” 

LCCC students have done very well in the research environment.  The American Association for Advancement of Science holds competitions annually.  In 2005, an LCCC student research team placed third in competition with schools like Harvard, Duke and Berkeley.  LCCC students also show well in the Sigma Xi meetings.  “I think,” said Durham, “it shows the caliber of student our college is putting out.  It shows the quality of education they are getting.”  The results also speak to the quality of the LCCC biotechnology lab.  “It (lab) is very well equipped. You can do research at any level of any university,” said Kestler.  “The lab gives us an unbelievable place to do research,” added Durham. 

In the end, it is all about the experience.  “Before our students graduate here,” concluded Durham, “they can go to any graduate school in the world and have working knowledge of lab procedures as the walk in the door.  That is unheard of.” 

If you are interested in biotechnology or class and program offerings in Science, click here to learn more about LCCC Science and Math programs.