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May 24, 2010




University of Maine at Fort Kent senior biology student, Andrew Albert, has been awarded a 10-week fellowship at the University of Maine in Orono this summer. The fellowship is funded through the Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE),

Andrew will work with Dr. Carol Kim, associate professor of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and the director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Maine. Andrew will assist Dr. Kim on her research using zebrafish as a model for infectious diseases.
The zebrafish, which develops from a single cell into a complete vertebrate within 24 hours, has many biological traits that mimic those of humans. Currently, Dr. Kim is conducting a comparative immunology study to identify unique disease-fighting molecular processes in zebrafish that could provide clues to finding similar defense mechanisms, as yet unidentified in humans.
A resident of Madawaska, Maine, Andrew will receive a Bachelor of Science in Biology, as well as a secondary education certification at UMFK next May. 
Originally, his goal was to teach high school biology. But after being exposed to different types of research in Dr. Kim Borges classes at UMFK, as well as at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Salisbury Cove, Maine, he has decided, instead, to pursue a career in biological research. 
Andrew learned of the INBRE fellowship while attending a short course at MDIBL last October.
The overall goal of the Maine INBRE is to strengthen Maine’s capacity to conduct National Institute of Health-competitive biomedical research. Maine’s INBRE provides research support and core facilities to junior faculty, creates research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and serves as a pipeline for students to pursue health research careers and enhance the scientific and technical knowledge of Maine’s workforce. 
As a requirement of his fellowship, Andrew will present on the research he completes while assisting Dr. Kim during his summer fellowship at the INBRE Student Symposium at MDIBL in late July.

Upon graduation from UMFK, Andrew hopes to continue his education, attend graduate school, and eventually receive a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences.