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Biology major Kate Arildsen selected as Fulbright Canada research intern

Published on February 16, 2022

Biology major Kate Arildsen selected as Fulbright Canada research intern

Biology student Kate Arildsen.
Biology student Kate Arildsen

Junior biology major Kate Arildsen has been selected as a research intern for the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink Program. The program grants recipients up to $7,800 (Canadian) in funding and enables exceptional undergraduate students from the United States to spend 10-12 weeks at a Canadian university conducting research with a faculty mentor. Arildsen has been matched with Professor Xin Li at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she will work on a research study this summer titled “Dissecting plant immunity using molecular genetics.”

“The technology that I'll get to work with at UBC is different from what we have at Eastern,” said Arildsen. “I'm excited to learn different techniques and methods that I might be able to apply to my work when I'm in graduate school.”

Under the mentorship of Eastern Biology Professor Vijaykumar Veerappan, Arildsen conducted research on a project titled “Phenotypic characterization and mRNA expression analysis of deregulated anthocyanin pigmentation mutant in Medicago truncatula." Both Veerappan and Biology Professor Bryan Connolly helped Arildsen with the Fulbright Canada application process, including a mock interview to prepare her for the second round of applicant competition.

Arildsen hopes to eventually earn her doctoral degree in molecular plant breeding. Her career goals are to address the effects of climate change on agriculture through engineering “staple crops that can have moderate to high yield while being resistant to temperature fluctuations, nutrient instability and pathogens.”

With a goal to pursue her graduate degree in Europe or Canada, Arildsen applied for this internship in hopes of getting experience at an institution outside of the United States. “The University of British Columbia is one of the schools I’m planning on applying to for graduate school," she said. "So getting a feel for the campus will be great. I'm hoping that over the summer I'll contribute to the research and get a taste of Vancouver.”

Written by Molly Boucher