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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch
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My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

NMU develops U of M research fellowship

NMU has opened new doors to an exclusive collaboration between the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center (UMBTC) and the Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratories at the University of Michigan. With this new collaboration, NMU will be able to better treat patients in the future and also better educate the researchers of tomorrow.

re-umbtc2Bringing this collaboration to Northern has not only increased NMU’s research capabilities but has also extended opportunities for students interested in science.

Robert Belton, biology professor and research director of UMBTC said this program is important for two reasons: It demonstrates the outstanding academic abilities and laboratory skills of NMU and also highlights the cutting-edge research being done by NMU students with the UMBTC.

“I don’t think many people here on campus realize the kind of work we are doing, nor how transformational such research opportunities can be, this being one of them,” Belton said.

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The spark behind this new partnership between NMU and U of M was Melanie Flaherty, a senior who became “accidently involved” in some of Belton’s research projects during her freshman year and has continued with them since. Belton said Flaherty’s work ethic and motivation to make progress on her projects rubs off on those around her.

Flaherty participated in research that focused on blocking two distinctive metabolic proteins within cancer cells. She targeted these cells, alongside a group of undergraduates in UMBTC, by finding cost-efficient ways to utilize each cell’s own metabolism against itself.

After being offered a 10-week fellowship under Dr. Jose Diaz at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2016 Flaherty began studying deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot that forms within the deep veins of the legs.

John Lawrence, UMBTC lab director, said Flaherty is one of the most motivated students the center has working in the laboratory.

“UMBTC’s hope is to continue developing such relationships with other institutions in order to make available additional research opportunities for our students,” Lawrence added.

He said much of the work is completed by students and the UMBTC will assist with training NMU students in complete laboratory techniques—some of which may receive training at the University of Michigan. John Rebers, head of the biology department said one strength of NMU is that it is small enough that students have an opportunity to get involved in research projects but also large enough to provide a range of different projects.

However, NMU still doesn’t have the resources that a large, research-based university has.

“This will allow us to take advantage of the best of both worlds,” Rebers said. Flaherty’s advice to other students is to step outside of their comfort zones.

“Research can be intimidating when you start out but stick with it and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said.

Flaherty said in a press release that she plans to enjoy the rest of her time here at NMU before continuing on her journey to medical school.

 

This article has been changed to reflect the following:

After being offered a 10-week fellowship under Dr. Jose Diaz at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2016 Flaherty began studying deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot that forms within the deep veins of the legs.

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