College Station Research Program Selects TAMIU Students, Faculty
Posted: 5/9/13

College Station Summer Research Program Selects TAMIU Students, Faculty Member

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) assistant professor of Biology Dr. Keri N. Norman and two of her Biology students, María Martínez and Raúl Ramos, will be part of a 10-week summer research program.

The  program is offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the DHS Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD), located at Texas A&M University  in College Station.

Dr. Norman and her students competed as a team for their spot in the research program.  Each had to submit an individual application highlighting their qualifications. 

Texas A&M International University assistant professor of Biology Dr. Keri N. Norman (center) and two of her Biology students, María Martínez and Raúl Ramos, will be part of a 10-week summer research program offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the DHS Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD), located at Texas A&M University  in College Station.

TAMIU Students, Prof Get Research Award

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) assistant professor of Biology Dr. Keri N. Norman (center) and two of her Biology students, María Martínez and Raúl Ramos, will be part of a 10-week summer research program offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the DHS Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD), located at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Travel expenses, lodging, and meals and a stipend are funded by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions Program.

ZADD protects the nation's agricultural and public health sectors against high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic disease threats. 

Norman addressed the significance of the team’s participation in the DHS summer program.

“There are no veterinarians in Webb County participating in this research, but we are a really important area for foreign animal disease because of our border location and as a major import and export hub for Mexico.  We are hoping that our participation will help in that we can be more involved in the process,” explained Dr. Norman. 

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) administers the program though an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the DHS. Norman, Martínez, and Ramos each have their own expectations about their involvement in the program.

For junior biology students Martínez and Ramos, developing a network and creating connections for prospective jobs is desirable.  Both are interested in working for the government.  They hope their program participation will distinguish them in future applications. 

For Norman, the summer research participation makes possible continued collaboration with the Center.  All of the teams in the program are invited to submit a grant application for $50,000 to help them continue their research with the Center on their home campuses. 

“My hope is that we get the grant and that my students can continue to work on the project here so that they can present their research at Pathways Conference in College Station or the Lamar Bruni Vergara Academic Conference,” Norman explained.

Norman’s primary area of focus is molecular epidemiology and investigating bacterial pathogens in populations.  Martínez aspires to earn her MD and be a pathologist or a Ph.D. and be a clinical researcher.  Ramos hopes to earn a Ph.D. and work in the biotech industry. 

For more information, contact Dr. Norman at 326.2584 or keri.norman@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 385.  – This story by intern Philip Balli.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100