biology students with professor

Undergraduate Biology Research

The Columbia State biology department has two courses with discovery and project-based research components, Honors General Biology and Biology Research, which are conducted in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The courses are designed to provide an authentic research experience for students with little to no prior lab skills. Students learn general biology, electron microscopy, microbiology, molecular biology, math application and genomics along with writing, presentation, critical thinking and computer literacy skills. Students have the opportunity to present research.

The rise of antibiotic resistance has fueled interest in bacteriophages as means to fight multidrug-resistant bacteria. Bacteriophage discovery is led by HHMI and carried out by students motivated by the idea that their phages may be used to help others. In the process, students gain valuable experience in the evidence-based learning.

“Columbia State students are making important contributions to science by discovering, analyzing and annotating new bacteriophages,” said Dr. Elvira Eivazova, Columbia State assistant professor of biology. “The HHMI phage collection is the largest in the world. The collection is largely generated by students across the nation, motivated by the idea that their phages may be used for therapeutic purposes.”

Undergraduate research is recognized by the Tennessee Board of Regents as a high-impact practice that acts as a learning tool to foster creativity, critical thinking and project ownership. Research experience contributes to student success and satisfaction and helps students with career choices.

Biology Students Excel in Undergraduate Research

Columbia State Community College students recently published research with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics Evolutionary Science program. 

Read About Undergraduate Research
students work on research
Students Excel During Summer Research Experience
Ximena Leon and Johana Fernandez-Solano recently completed summer undergraduate research opportunities through Columbia State Community College’s partnership with the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative.
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student with research poster
Students Attend Undergrad Research Conference
Columbia State Community College students Ximena Leon (Lewisburg), Megan Mohundro (Columbia) and Amanda Smith (Centerville) recently presented research projects at the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative in Glendale, Arizona.
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student with research poster