One of the objectives of the CIS is to facilitate communication among faculty and students from different disciplines and foster integrative interactions. This summer we are piloting something new to encourage such events. Below are the inaugural recipients of micro-grants to fund activities where multiple distinct research groups come together during the summer program.

Summer 2024 Research Pods

Copper Piratas 

Olson and Padilla-Benavides Labs

The intersection of crystallography and molecular biology is a fertile ground for scientific discovery and innovation. Our two labs—focused respectively on structural elucidation of macromolecules and functional analysis of biological molecules—have identified numerous synergies that can be harnessed through regular interdisciplinary interactions. Students from our groups are collaborating to crystalize a couple of transcriptional regulators that bind copper. To facilitate these interactions, we propose a series of monthly lab meetings over the summer, that will provide a structured forum for students to present their research, discuss scientific challenges, and troubleshoot experimental issues.

The Copper Piratas will meet July 3 and July 23 at noon, location TBD.

Planetary Science

Gilmore, Greenwood, Herbst, Hughes, and Redfield Labs

The Planetary Science group is a long-standing interdisciplinary research group at Wesleyan. Their emphasis is the study of the origin of planetary systems, planetary geology and geochemistry and the application of remote sensing to terrestrial environmental problems. This work incorporates results from observational astronomy, planetary image analyses, and the laboratory and field studies of Earth analogues to other planets.

The Planetary Science group is meeting July 3, 12:00-1:30pm, Boger 115, lunch included.

Soft and Active Matter @ Wes

McKensie-Smith, Mitchel, Starr and Voth Labs

Labs participating in The Soft and Active Matter @ Wes Collective are broadly interested in the emergent behaviors in systems which may be squishy, active, and/or far from equilibrium. Though our individual research focuses on diverse systems, from turbulent flows to insect swarms to migrating cells to molecular glasses, these diverse systems share the feature of exhibiting emergent properties, in which "the whole is more than the sum of its parts".

The Soft and Active Matter @ Wes Collective expects to meet in July, details TBD.


Coolon, Holmes, MacQueen and Weir Labs

The WEaSt ("Wesleyan yeast") meetings were initiated by MB&B professor Amy MacQueen in 2010 and for several years have met two to three times each summer for colleagueship and presentations by students. The meetings provide opportunities for students to present and receive feedback on their projects, gain exposure to new subjects and techniques, and become familiar with a larger community of researchers with overlapping goals and approaches. 

The WEaSt group is meeting June 18 @ 5pm, July 2 @ 3:30pm, and July 22 @ 3:30pm. If you are interested in attending any of these meetings, please reach out to Amy MacQueen(