Four Engineering Students Receive Research Grants

February 26, 2019

Meggie Lam and Timothy KingBATON ROUGE, LA – The LSU Discover Undergraduate Research Program recently selected four LSU Engineering students as Spring 2019 Research Grant recipients.

LSU Biological Engineering senior Meggie Lam of Houma, La., is researching collagen regulation of estrogen signaling in breast cancer to determine how estrogen changes collagen and vice versa. Lam is working alongside LSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Assistant Professor Elizabeth Martin.

“Dr. Martin has helped me tremendously in not only my research, but guiding me into knowing what I would like to do with my future after my undergraduate (career),” Lam said. “What I enjoy most about research is that every day, I am learning something new, which allows me to better myself and help others around me. I hope that my research can give us a better understanding of how breast cancer behaves.”

Lam plans to attend graduate school in the fall.

LSU Biological Engineering senior Timothy King of Opelousas, La., is also working under Martin, conducting research centered around chemotherapy’s regulatory effects on the stromal environment. He is studying how the tumor microenvironment promotes resistance to chemotherapy. His project involves analyzing lean and obese cells from young and older donors, treating them with the chemotherapy drug Taxol, and determining its effects.

“The goal of this research is to find an enhanced understanding for mechanisms that drive breast cancer recurrence and drug resistance,” he said. “Succession of this will enable more effective treatment methods for breast cancer patients.”

King hopes to attend graduate school to research medical devices or regenerative engineering in pursuit of his PhD.

Duyen Lam posing at laptop


LSU Environmental Engineering senior Duyen Lam of Raceland, La., is researching constructed wetlands and how to maximize their potential as a secondary treatment for pharmaceuticals in wastewater. She is focusing on the drug Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant widely prescribed to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Lam is working under LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor John Pardue.

“My research will provide a secondary process that is low-cost and low-maintenance to remove highly persistent substances, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, hormones, pesticides, and industrial chemicals in the environment, thus reducing widespread contamination,” she said.

After graduation, Lam aspires to work with developing and underserved communities in order to meet environmental and health goals.

“I want to strive to sustainably improve communities through maximizing the potential benefits of green bio infrastructure and the utilization of modern technologies to investigate how the traditional development of cities affects the community,” she said.


Sven SaemundssonLSU Chemical Engineering junior Sven Saemundsson of Zagreb, Croatia, is trying to modify Anabaena—a genus of blue-green algae—to make it a more viable organism for production of compounds significant in industry. He is working alongside LSU Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Michael Benton and graduate student Daniel Noreña Caro.

“Because of them, I have learned more about genetic engineering than I even thought was possible,” Saemundsson said. “The thing I enjoy most is the process of discovery. In genetic engineering, rarely anything goes as planned, so you have to find out what went wrong and how to fix it. I enjoy coming up with theories and just troubleshooting until I eliminate every mistake.”

After graduating, Saemundsson plans to attend graduate school and work toward his PhD.

The LSU Discover Undergraduate Research Program supports student participation in faculty-mentored research and professional-level activities by providing funding, workshops, awards, and hosting an annual symposium where students present their work called LSU Discover Day.


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