URSA Engage Program 2013
Position Descriptions for Students to Apply For


Faculty Name & Department/School: Dr. Jeff Chang, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural Sciences


Research Project Title: Characterization of biofilms and Rhodococcus fascians virulence


Project Overview: 

The formation of biofilms is important for many bacteria to adhere to surfaces and aggregate to form a heterogeneous community capable of resisting many stresses. Rhodococcus fascians is pathogen of plants and an excellent model for studying biofilm formation in Gram-positive bacteria and understanding the role of biofilms in plant-pathogen interactions. The student will characterize strains of R. fascians for their ability to develop biofilms both in culture and on plants as well as their virulence.  In addition, the student will learn to clone and make genetic “knock-out” mutations in genes hypothesized to be necessary for biofilm formation.



What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Students will learn skills important for success in the laboratory, classroom, and in their career, including scientific thinking, experimental design, data analysis, organization, written and oral communication skills, microbiology, molecular biology, and plant-microbe interactions. There may also be opportunities to learn biocomputing.


Student research tasks: 

Making solutions and media, maintaining bacterial cultures, gene cloning, recombineering, and biofilms and pathogen virulence assays.


Period of work - Spring and Fall


Number of hours per week expected of student:     10-12


Preferred Faculty Contact Information: changj@science.oregonstate.edu

(note - applications are NOT sent to mentors - see instructions)


q Yes    x  No:   Human Subjects 

q Yes    x  No:   Live Vertebrate Animals

x Yes    q  No:   Recombinant DNA Molecules Transgenic Plants or Animal, and/or Infectious Agents of Plants, Animals, or Humans

q Yes    x  No:   Ionizing Radiation

q Yes    x  No:   Chemical Carcinogens

q Yes    x  No:   Scuba Diving, Free Diving

q Yes    x  No:   Small Boating Operations


Approval Number(s) from above, if relevant: Program Proposal #3610, Molecular characterization of plant-bacteria interactions; approved for 4 years starting 1/31/11.

If you are interested in applying for this position, you MUST complete the student application HERE and email it to Dr. Kevin Ahern at ahernk@onid.orst.edu

Do NOT email your application to the faculty mentor.