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Student Spotlight
Brandi Earp  – Research Discovery Position

Brandi Earp is an undergraduate student who began her research in a Research Discovery student worker position supervised by Dr. Foster Levy, Professor in the ETSU Department of Biological Sciences. Brandi’s involvement in the position and her passion for microbiology led her to a research project that was published in HortScience, a prominent peer-reviewed journal in the field of horticulture.

According to Dr. Levy, the Research Discovery experience had “a huge impact on her future.” Brandi’s project idea was the result of an interaction with a graduate student who showed her an anti-bacterial, latex-like sap, extracted from Japanese Umbrella Pines. She was intrigued by the information and set out to find out whether other latex-like saps from various plants would also display antibiotic properties. When she found that was not the case, she also thought of testing the sap of different pine species because pines are related to the Japanese Umbrella Pine and pine sap is often considered an antiseptic. Brandi discovered that none of the other pine species’ saps are anti-bacterial, proving that the Japanese Umbrella Pine is not only a specialty landscape plant due to its limited availability and its high cost, but also because of its anti-bacterial properties.

Since the Research Discovery experience Brandi Earp has come a long way. She is now a graduate student in the Master of Public Health program at the University of Kentucky and she has recently attended a conference in Boston.  Here is what Brandi had to say about her undergraduate research position:

'Hi all,

I miss the lab and finally have a summer break .......well, from traditional classes anyways. Ha-ha. I am just barely away from submitting my IRB paperwork in hopes of very rapid approval for exemption (or however that is worded).

I am not asking for a reference this time. Ha-ha. I just wanted to update everyone on the exciting news of my first official public health experience. I will be working with a University of Kentucky Hospital Epidemiologist to research clinical outcomes for an outbreak of Acinetobacter, which occurred beginning in August of 2006. This is so cool to me.

Thank you all so much for your help, support, patience, kindness, (and for Dr. Levy's suggestion that turned the light-bulb on .....Oh yeah, public health is what I was looking for all along). Ha-ha. I appreciate you all and have not forgotten you over the past year. Please let me know how all is going for you all. I just wanted to give you an update and share the news."


Student Spotlight



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