Biology majors India Hughes and Chase Jordan awarded SURF funding

Posted on June 29, 2021 by Jason Strickland
Jason Strickland

Photo of India Hughes (left) conducting a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) during her summer research and Chase Jordan (right) using a microscope to look at worm musculature.  data-lightbox='featured'
Photo of India Hughes (left) and Chase Jordan (right) in their research labs.

Two biology majors, India Hughes and Chase Jordan, were awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF). SURF funding is awarded to undergraduate students to conduct research over the summer term. If you are interested in the SURF program, check out the information offered from the Office of Undergraduate Research and also try to find a faculty member in biology that is willing to work with you. More about the two awardees is below.




India Hughes is a senior Biology major and will graduate in December of 2021. After graduation, India plans to attend graduate school and continuing doing research in evolutionary biology and genetics. India is working in Dr. Jason Strickland’s lab on species delimitation in snakes that specialize in eating snails and slugs. Specifically, she is using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA to determine if two species of snail-eaters recently found in Mexico are distinct species. Of the experience, India said “By being accepted into Dr. Strickland's lab, I have been able to work on my lab and field skills and improve my technical writing. The lab skills are invaluable, as most graduate school programs expect you to have a handle on the basics before applying. Because of my involvement, I feel more prepared for graduate school and a career in biology.”




Chase Jordan

Chase is a Biology/Pre-Med major minoring in Related Sciences: Medical/Molecular Track. He is entering his last year at South and will graduate in fall 2021. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Chase plans to attend medical school and ultimately becoming a physician. Chase is working with muscle cells in round worms (Caenorhabditis elegans), a model organism, in Dr. Ryan Littlefield’s Lab. Chase is interested in muscle contraction, specifically the Sliding Filament Theory involving the thick and thin filaments of myosin and actin. Their goal is to continuously activate the twitchin kinase protein (UNC-22) and determine if it leads to decreased fitness. So far, Chase says that “my SURF project is a very entertaining and educational experience that I am very grateful for and I plan to use all that I have learned in future research while in medical school.”

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