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Undergraduate Research Center

Sauleen Shamdeen

  • SOAR Position: Member; Alumni
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Tony Farone

Current Focus: Survey of Mosquito Predatory Ciliate Lambornella for Potential Biological Control

Project Description

The purpose of this study is to identify, isolate, and culture Lambornella clarki to utilize as a potential biological mosquito control. The ciliated protozoa, Lambornella clarki and other Lambornella species, are known to target mosquitoes, specifically mosquito larvae and essentially killing them off. In order to achieve these results, we collected numerous water samples from a variety of locations, performed various isolation techniques, cultured them in various mediums, as well as performed molecular identification techniques to confirm the identity of the ciliate. Once Lambornella has been identified and cultured, it will serve great benefit as a natural biological mosquito control that is not harmful to humans as opposed to common chemical agents.

Why does this topic interest you?

Mosquitoes are known for being one of the main hosts in the transmission of various diseases, including malaria, ZICA virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever, etc. With the current concern over mosquito-borne viral infections, it is worth revisiting the possibility of growing Lambornella for biological control applications that won’t harm humans as other preventing treatments do. Also, acknowledging that there is a lack of information on Lambornella itself gives a challenge for me which in a way is something I enjoy because there is always something to look forward to with this topic. Also,the hope that there is a possibility that we could be either the only one or the only one of the few that have identified and cultured Lambornella is exciting.

What are your professional aspirations?

Personally, I have always wanted to pursue in the medical field no matter what position that may be. The world of medicine is something that I have always been aspired to be apart of. When I was younger I wanted to be just a doctor and nothing too specific. During high school, that dream turned from being just a doctor to becoming a pediatrician. I am currently a senior here at Middle Tennessee State University and as of 2 years ago, I have been interested in the field of surgery. It’s currently just general surgery, but I am also considering something more specific as either cardiac surgery or neurosurgery.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

Be curious and do your background research on what you want to research. Be aware and understand the objective the research you want to pursue. Always expect the unexpected – you can never prepare for everything that happens during research. Research is a door that you can open that allows you to experience many subjects as well as make you aware of what kind of future you would want. However, with learning and experiences comes responsibility. Be sure to understand the importance of what kind of work is needed and to not lose interest when the results aren’t achieved as fast as you want them to. Research requires both patience and time as well as willingness to make it enjoyable and a great experience. Lastly, never be afraid to ask questions – it’s okay not to know everything. If the though of research comes up in your mind, then ask around and you can gain the opportunity for a new experience!

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

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Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669 
Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588 
Casey.Penston@mtsu.edu

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