Research student examines a test tube in a labratory environment

Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry

Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Urban Wildlife Monitoring Group-Erin Ellinwood, Keara Kintzele and Georgina Royse
Student: Sophia, Class of 2022, Biology  

Faculty Mentor: Dr.Jennifer Shepherd

Research Title: "Localizing RquA in H2 R. rubrum with a GFP Tag"

Peer Perspective: "Sophia’s ('22) research with an electron carrier, Rhodoquinone, shows the ability for Gonzaga students to delve further into topics they are interested in outside the classroom. Through her work localizing the RquA protein in H2 R. Rubric cells using super resolution confocal microscopy, she is able to do specialized and in-depth research at an undergraduate level." -Georgia, Class of 2022

Student: Sophia, Class of 2022, Biology Major  

Abstract: Rhodoquinone (RQ) is an electron carrier that participates in the anaerobic metabolic pathways of some bacteria and eukaryotic organisms. Due to its significance in cellular metabolism, understanding the biosynthesis and role of RQ may precede the development of novel anti-parasitic and anti-microbial drugs. In some bacteria and protists, RquA is an essential enzyme that converts ubiquinone (UQ) to RQ. It has been previously shown that RquA tagged with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) is localized in the mitochondria of W303 yeast cells. Seeking to further characterize the RquA protein in its native specimen, Rhodospirillum rubrum, the RquA protein was tagged with the GFP protein.  By performing a biparental conjugation, the pPUCTerm_GFP_RquA plasmid was transferred to H2 R. rubrum for expression of GFP-RquA. This fusion protein will be expressed and localized in cells using super resolution confocal microscopy.


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Best Poster Award

student holding award

Congratulations to Cassidy, who won the Best Poster in Biochemistry award at the 2021 Murdock College Science Research Conference!

Student: Cassidy, Class of 2022, Biochemistry 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shannen Cravens

Research Title: "Investigating the Effects of Uracil Damage on Dz8-17’s Therapeutic Potential "


Welcome to CURCI

The College of Arts & Sciences launched the Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (CURCI) in 2016 in order to promote, publicize, facilitate, and celebrate the transformative educational experiences that occur through student-faculty collaborations.

CURCI’s mission aims to animate Ignatian inquiry and student transformation in the context of undergraduate scholarly and creative works.  We accomplish this by funding projects and presentations, which create student experiences that amplify their self-awareness today so that they may be Ignatian leaders tomorrow.  Specifically, CURCI administers funds as well as supports fundraising for projects and presentations, while also capturing the student impact from those projects and presentations.  Support for undergraduate scholarly and creative works comes in the form of Morris Undergraduate Research Fellowships, the Killen Scholars Program, Jesuit Mission Fellowships, CURCI Fellowships or Research Assistantships, as well as long-standing programs within the Natural Sciences – notably the Gonzaga Science Research Program.  Opportunities for the presentation of undergraduate scholarly and creative works can be found through the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference, CAS Undergraduate Research Showcase, Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, and CAS Conference Awards. 

For details about opportunities and eligibility, see myGU.

Through intentional engagement and collaboration with the world around us, our students undergo the transformation needed to build a better tomorrow. Please support our students in their transformation by donating today.

Contact the Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry

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Humanities Building, Room 123
502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258