Faculty Profile: Dr. Shelley Phelan

Submitted by Web Communications on August 30, 2006

[My students] want to get data that no one else in the world knows.

Dr. Shelley Phelan

Program: Biology

Title: Associate Professor of Biology

What She Does In Her Lab

I look at how certain molecules protect cells from disease. I realized early in my life that I didn’t want to treat patients after they’d acquired a disease; I wanted to know what caused the disease, and how it could be prevented.

What Students Do In Her Lab

A lot. I choose four students to work with me for a year. They come in at least 8 to 10 hours a week, and they work on projects that we’ve designed together, using all the equipment I use.

What Every Biology Major Does

Original research – starting in their first biology class. By the end of the major, they’re doing a capstone experience: research with faculty, an internship, or an intensive seminar.

The Secret To Success In The Major

The core curriculum. It gets you to think broadly, to understand the implications of what you’re doing, to communicate effectively, to work in groups – all of which is crucial in biology.

What Motivates Her Students

They want to get hands-on experience. And they want to go the distance – to take their research as far as they can. They want to get data that no one else in the world knows.

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