Langston Professor Experiences Lab Research

Langston University Professor Charmaine Naidoo is experiencing lab research at OSU this summer, through an Oklahoma EPSCoR Research Opportunity Award (ROA). Naidoo is working in the lab of Gerald Schoenknecht, professor of botany at Oklahoma State University. Together, Naidoo and Schoenknecht are exploring potassium channels in plants using a cell-free protein expression system.

Charmaine Naidoo (left), Langston University Professor of Biology, works in the Oklahoma State University botany lab of Gerald Shoenknecht (right), OSU Professor of Botany. Naidoo received a $9,000 OK EPSCoR Research Opportunity Award to fund the summer research experience.

The collaborative research focuses on the expression of vacuolar potassium channels, which plays a key role in plant growth and development. By enhancing the efficiency of a plant’s usage of soil minerals, plant growth and biomass production are increased, according to Naidoo’s ROA proposal. In addition to obtaining hands-on experience with cell-free protein expression, Naidoo is also gaining insight into how she can integrate classroom and laboratory exercises into the courses she teaches at Langston.

“By watching Gerald working with his student in the lab, I have a better understanding of ways I can help my Langston undergraduate students best benefit from lab experiences and to understand the processes they are exploring,” explained Naidoo.

Naidoo looks forward to future lab research, and she believes the EPSCoR-funded project will allow her to become more competitive when submitting future grant research proposals.

ROA participants are selected annually on a competitive basis by Oklahoma EPSCoR. The awards offer regional university faculty members from primarily undergraduate institutions the opportunity to perform summer research in laboratories at comprehensive research campuses in Oklahoma. Research-intensive institutions include Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, University of Oklahoma Norman campus, Oklahoma State University and University of Tulsa.