Former INBRE Project Leader Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

Clare Bates Congdon, PhD, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant. According to NSF, the CAREER program is “the most prestigious award in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.”

The research focus of Congdon’s project is to develop an evolutionary computation-based approach to identifying modules in non-coding DNA that respond to environmental toxins such as arsenic and alter gene expression. Undergraduates will be able to participate in the work through supervised research projects. In addition, Congdon – who was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor this year – will create and teach the first upper-level course in bionformatics to be offered at the University of Southern Maine (USM).

Support from INBRE was critical to her career success, according to Congdon. “The INBRE program was life-changing for me, ” she says. “It helped me network within Maine and helped me develop my research and grant-writing skills.”