Cameron Criswell '19 Major: Biochemistry, Genetics Research Focus: Molecular Genetics, Immune receptors Years of Research Experience: 2 firstname.lastname@example.org Organizations & Programs: Competitive Rock Climbing Team, Aggie Research Scholar, University Honors Awards & Distinctions: Undergraduate Research Scholar, Deans Honor Roll Experience with: Internships, Fellowships, Summer Research, Research for Credit, Poster Presentations I am a senior Biochemistry and Genetics double major from Houston, Texas with hopes of obtaining a PhD. Both in and out of the lab, my favorite thing to do is listening to music. I have listened to over 1200 albums in the span of about 2 years. Last year I completed the “Rolling Stones: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was #1 in case you were wondering) as well as the “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.” I am a huge fan of the Astros, with Craig Biggio being my all-time favorite player. This year I will be working at the Medical Center in Houston and hope to attend as many games as possible. I am also on the Competitive Rock Climbing team. Although I am not the best climber in the world, I have found that climbing is a great way to take your mind off of research, school, or anything stressing you out. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I began volunteering at Dr. He’s lab in the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. My lab screens ~2000 Arabidopsis knockout lines to identify btl5 or “bak to life” mutant as a suppressor of BAK1/SERK4-mediated cell death by Viral Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS). Defense receptors like BASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE (BAK1) and its homolog SOMATIC EMBYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASE 4 (SERK4) are a vital part of plant defense, growth and development. When they become suppressed, it can lead to defense over-activation and cell death. My research will focuses on finding suppressors of cell death caused by silencing BAK1 and SERK4 with virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) on Arabidopsis knockout collections. My research will also provide insight into the understanding of BAK/SERK4-mediated cell death and how plants activate defense without causing massive cell death. Likewise, this research may impact the future of crop production by genetically modifying the plants for maximizing defense without detrimental defect.