Applying RNAi technologies to study bee genetics

The Hines lab (PSU, is seeking undergraduate researchers for Spring - Summer 2024 interested in learning RNAi (RNA interference) technology towards research aimed at applying RNAi to address the genetic basis of mimetic coloration in bumble bees. In the Spring, the student(s) will work with a small group of researchers (1-2 faculty, a graduate student, 1-2 other undergraduates), will read the literature on RNAi and refine protocols, and will perform RNAi on model taxa using developed protocols (beetles). In the summer these techniques will be applied in bumble bees to determine the role of specific developmental genes in bumble bee coloration and development and help refine these techniques for future research in these bees.

University Park
Work Setting(s): 
Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences
Description of responsibilities and minimum qualifications: 

This experience requires research investment in Spring 2024 (for research credit, 4-12 hrs/wk) and Summer 2024 research (for wages, 15-40 hrs/wk). Students will be trained, but should have an interest in genetics, be pursuing a biology relevant major, have a GPA >3.2, have interest in research careers, and have good hand-eye coordination. It is necessary that students have sufficient room in their schedules for this experience, thus treat this as if they would a fairly rigorous course in their Spring schedule. RNAi involves injecting dsRNA into live insects, thus students must be willing to perform these procedures on live bee and beetle pupae, and must be willing to come in occasionally outside of 9-5 hours to perform research.

Available Term(s): 
Position Type(s): 
Number of positions available: 
Application Instructions: 

If interested, please send an inquiry to Dr. Heather Hines: Include in your email your reason for interest, availability for research, and CV/resume.

Last Updated: 
November 30, 2023