MDI Biological Laboratory
MDI Science Café

MDI Science Café: Growing Maine’s Scientific Workforce

  • February 14, 2022
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm
  • Online

The Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) is a collaborative network of Maine educational and research institutions led by the MDI Biological Laboratory and sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Join James Coffman, Ph.D., MDIBL Associate Professor and Director of Maine INBRE, and INBRE project leaders Lori Banks, Ph.D., Jennifer Honeycutt, Ph.D. and Bates' Senior, Maddie Feldmeier, online February 14 as they discuss the multi-faceted effects of INBRE across students, mentors, core facilities, and Maine’s workforce.

The Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) is a collaborative network of Maine educational and research institutions led by the MDI Biological Laboratory and sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The overarching goal of the Maine INBRE is to strengthen biomedical research and research infrastructure in the state of Maine, by providing biomedical research resources, funding, mentorship and training to undergraduates, post-graduates, and faculty.

James Coffman, Ph.D., MDIBL Associate Professor and Director of Maine INBRE

James Coffman, Ph.D., associate professor, examines how much our health, susceptibility to disease and rate of aging depends on the environment in which we were raised. Coffman earned his Ph.D. from Duke University in Zoology. His current research explores how chronic stress, traumatic experiences, or other toxic environmental exposures in early life can have persistent developmental effects that impact how the body responds to stressors later in life, and which can be transmitted epigenetically to subsequent generations.

Jennifer Honeycutt, Ph.D., Bowdoin College Assistant Professor and Maine INBRE Project Leader

Jennifer Honeycutt, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, focuses on uncovering the role of early experiences on acute and long-term neural and behavioral outcomes in translational rat models of psychiatric/affective disorders. Honeycutt earned her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and conducted her postdoctoral research at Northeastern University. The Honeycutt Lab at Bowdoin seeks to uncover the underlying neural circuitry impacted in adversity-related disorders – particularly those characterized by affective dysfunction/dysregulation including anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Honeycutt is a first generation college student and queer-identifying individual, as well as an advocate for underrepresented students in the sciences, including first generation students, women, URMs, BIPOC, and LGBTQA+ identifying individuals.

Lori Banks, Ph.D., Bates College Assistant Professor and Maine INBRE Project Leader

Lori Banks, Ph.D.,is an Assistant Professor of Biology, and a member of the Africana program committee, at Bates College. She holds a B.S. in Biology (Chemistry minor) from Prairie View A&M University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Banks’ scientific research has focused on drug discovery-related protein structure-function studies from a range of bacterial, viral, and cancer targets. As an NIH-IRACDA postdoctoral fellow, she began translating her laboratory interests into curriculum development for undergraduates and post-baccalaureate fellows interested in pursuing graduate research. Now engaged in this work as a faculty member, she designs and implements curricular models that incorporate aspects of graduate-level scientific research and medicine into undergraduate teaching. Aside from her faculty duties, she does scientific outreach work with Girl Scouts of Maine and other service organizations around Northern New England.

Maddie Feldmeier, Senior at Bates College

Maddie Feldmeier is a senior, biochemistry major at Bates College and has been working with Dr. Banks since June on her senior thesis. She has always been fascinated by the human body and understanding the ways in which complex systems interact with one another. Her interests in microbiology, pediatric medicine and public health converged to shape her current project studying human rotavirus NSP4 strains present in endemic global regions. In the future, Maddie hopes to work in the field of public health, dismantling barriers to adequate healthcare and continuing with research to provide improved medical care and treatment.