(Please Note: Prof. White's laboratory research program is currently inactive and no longer accepts students. This page is maintained as an archive.)
When does a scientist become a scientist? It is not when a person knows many facts and even understands in depth some aspect of the natural world. I would suggest the transition occurs when curiosity about a phenomenon leads to an inquiry for new knowledge. This can occur in a person with little or lots of knowledge about a subject. It is an attitude of inquiry.
A substantive undergraduate research experience should be part of every chemistry or biochemistry student's degree program. This is just as true for a student who plans a career in pharmaceutical sales, high school teaching, or medicine as for a student determined to be a PhD research scientist.
Laboratory research is qualitatively different from typical course-associated laboratories where lab manuals define procedures, TAs supply the reagents, and the results are no surprise. Research requires planning, time-management skills, attention to detail, persistence, and an attitude of inquiry. These aspects must be experienced to be appreciated.
Ideally undergraduate research should start before the senior year. Winter or Summer Sessions are good times to begin because they provide blocks of time for learning techniques and becoming familiar with the laboratory. Supervision often is more available at these times.
Because I have cut back my biochemistry research program and increased my activities in other areas, I am unable to supervise more than than a few dedicated and self-motivated students at a time.
Recent Research Students:
Tony Scarpaci preparing lipid extract for mass spectral analysis
Laura Tolen taking a blood sample assisted by Dr. John Dohms
Guidelines and Expectations for Undergraduate Research in Prof. White's Laboratory.
List of Research Projects Available.
Recent Undergraduate Research Students and their Projects
Research Publications Coauthored with Undergraduate Research Students
Lab's Research in the news:
UpDate - Vol. 12, No. 4, Page 1 September 24, 1992
Research aims to reduce heart disease, infant death
UpDate - Vol. 12, No. 25, Page 14 March
Project gets unexpected help from iguana
ISC Awards 1996
ISC Awards 1997
Study about Undergraduate Research