Elizabeth Lemay

About Me:

hello! I am an undergraduate student at WPI majoring in Biology/Biotechnology. I have always been most passionate about my biology and science courses throughout middle and high school. However, I felt like I was still missing a big piece of the puzzle in deciding what to do with my education once I graduated. That is when I found WPI’s Teacher Preparation Program which has allowed me to combine both my passion for education and learning with my passion for biology and STEM. I hope to become a middle school science teacher when I graduate inspiring the next generation of thinkers.

About the Lab:

This summer I am working in the Shell Lab where I will also be completing my MQP, or Major Qualifying Project. The focus of the Shell Lab is on tuberculosis research.  The lab is a very collaborative space with many different people from diverse backgrounds. It has been incredible soaking in so much knowledge from fellow undergraduates, as well as graduate students, postdocs, and professor Shell. In my short time here I have already learned so much and I can’t wait to continue learning more.


My project hopes to develop a live dead reporter system using two fluorescent proteins. To do so my team had to design primers to be used for PCR, purify plasmids, run PCR, and transform and clone the plasmids into M. Smeg which is our model organism for MTB. The goal of this project is to make it easier to determine the success of various antibiotics against treating MTB as well as to analyze resistance to antibiotics.

Weekly Updates:

  • Week 1: Rebecca and I have been working on designing our primers. With the help of graduate students and the postdocs in the lab we are making sense of the new software and equipment and getting comfortable in the lab.
  • Week 2: We finally finished primer design and got them ordered. Woohoo! They even came in a day early! Another Woohoo moment. Now we are starting the process of PCR and getting comfortable with using the machine, and doing a lot of pipetting.
  • Week 3: This week has been a full week of running PCR and Gels and a lot of trouble shooting. Hopefully by tomorrow we will have all of our purified DNA and be ready to move on to the next step.
  • Week 4: I am learning to prepare for nothing in research to go according to plan. We ended up having to redesign out DNA primers, and have been working on PCR with them. We also have been running them on the gel to get our purified sample.
  • Week 5: We have our DNA segments and will be performing HIFI assembly and transforming into E.coli. After this we will be able to send the plasmid for sequencing to check our success. This week has also been filled with a lot of poster making and lesson planning. We are working on finalizing our poster, and getting feedback. I am looking forward to sharing our poster and lesson plan!

Poster and Lesson Plan:

RET Lesson Plan Handout

RET Poster