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SOUTH BEND - Kristopher Kast, a senior at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2009 and 2010 to continue his work in Dr. Molly Scheel's laboratory at the Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend.
They are associated with the Eck Institute for Global Health and study the neural development of the mosquito vector of dengue virus, Aedes aegypti.
His work has been in identifying the roles of axon guidance molecules in the developing central and olfactory systems of this species.
"Our goal is to begin to describe the development of these mosquito systems that are crucial for host-seeking behavior and disease transmission," Kast said.
Kast presented his research at the 2010 College of Science Joint Annual meeting. He is also a co-author on their most recent paper submitted for publication to the journal "Emerging Model Organisms."
The College of Science, with support from donations from the Clare Boothe Luce Foundation, the Balfour Foundation and Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend, will provide up to 40 Notre Dame undergraduate students with fellowships to engage in research during the summer of 2010. The fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend plus an allowance for supplies.
Kast, a biological sciences-philosophy double major, has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout his undergraduate work. He is also a tutor at the University Writing Center.
He is the son of Jeff and Nikki Kast of Tell City and the grandson of Glenn and Anna Hamilton of Cloverport, Ky., Allen Kast of Tell City and the late Nancy Kast.