Robin Lammi Awarded First Major NSF-RUI Undergraduate Research Grant in Winthrop’s History



20 May 2009.  The National Science Foundation notified Winthrop President DiGiorgio today that Dr. Robin Lammi, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and INBRE target faculty, was awarded $251,274 for her proposed undergraduate-centered research project "Probing Early Events in Amyloid-b Association by Single-Pair Forster Resonance Energy Transfer." The grant provides materials, summer and academic year student stipends, and funds for conference presentations over the next three years. 


At Winthrop, Lammi and her students have assembled one of the few single molecule spectroscopy setups in the Southeast and have begun exploiting this capability to better understand physical processes that occur at the molecular level during early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Two of Lammi’s former Winthrop research students are currently enrolled in PhD chemistry programs at Clemson and USC.  A third is matriculating this fall into the world reknown SHERP science writing program at NYU.


Dr. Lammi arrived at Winthrop in 2003 after completing PhD studies with Dewey Holton at Washington University in fluorescence spectroscopy and a postdoctoral fellowship in single molecule spectroscopy at Paul Barbara’s lab in Texas.  She has developed and taught new courses in introductory and advanced inorganic chemistry. 


Over the past five years, Robin Lammi has personally spearheaded Chemistry at Winthrop’s engagement and program focus on undergraduate research.  As director of undergraduate research, Dr. Lammi developed and implemented a research-committee based, two-semester undergraduate research experience that emulates practices used in PhD chemistry programs.  Dr. Lammi was recently selected by Winthrop University for promotion to Associate Professor of Chemistry effective in August.


For the past four years, Dr. Lammi has been a Winthrop NIH-INBRE target faculty member; the central goal of INBRE has been to develop junior faculty research competitiveness.  The historic awarding of Winthrop’s first major NSF-RUI provides evidence of continued success in Winthrop University’s comprehensive and widely-acclaimed NIH-INBRE program that has dramatically expanded Winthrop student engagement in undergraduate research on a year-round basis.  Undergraduate research continues to be the most effective form of student learning, the best preparation for graduate work, and the gold standard for quality science education at the nation’s finest undergraduate institutions.