Blue Ribbon Award Season for UROP Mentors, Dr. Kahlenberg and Dr. Knight

June 16, 2020

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, recently announced this year’s Blue Ribbon Awards which are given to UROP students for having an exemplary research poster and presentation, the capstone to their UROP experience.

This year’s awardees included three students who were mentored in Dr. J. Michelle Kahlenberg’s lab and Dr. Jason Knight’s lab:

  • Kahlenberg Lab – student Tyson Moore for his research project "The impact of Type I Interferons on UVB Mediated Cytokine Expression"    
  • Kahlenberg Lab – student Jon Musai for his research project "Mapping the Regulation of a Key Driver of Cutaneous Lupus"
  • Knight Lab - student Diane Chiang for her research project "Autoimmunity and Thrombosis in Lupus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome"

J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD and Jason Knight, MD, PhD, both from the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Rheumatology, have been involved with the UROP program for several years.

“Tyson and Jon have an interest in careers in science and medicine and joined UROP at the beginning of their freshman year in order to get more research experience. They were mentored by Yee Sun Tan, PhD; Sonya Wolf, PhD; and Shannon Estadt. I am so proud of all of them and their work,” said Dr. Kahlenberg.

UROP creates research partnerships between undergraduate students and University of Michigan (U-M) researchers, and local community partners and organizations. The program gives students the opportunity to engage in research activities that help them learn about the pursuit of knowledge within an academic discipline, with research mentors representing all 19 colleges/schools/units at U-M. This early exposure to research fosters a valuable academic experience for students and gives them research skills and mentorship that leads to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience, and creates paths to graduate school.

“My lab has had at least one UROP student every year since 2012,” Dr. Knight stated. “In our experience, the students always bring great ideas and enthusiasm. Undergrads have earned authorship on dozens of papers and we have hired several to work in the lab during gap years after they graduate. UROP is a wonderful program.”

UROP is currently recruiting research projects for the 2020-2021 academic year, as well as student applications to the program. Visit the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program for more information.