Hans Wildschutte’s work with undergraduate researchers honored
Dr. Hans Wildschutte, biological sciences, received the 2017 Elliott L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Innovative Basic Research/Creative Work. The award recognizes innovative basic research/creative work conducted by individual faculty members in collaboration with undergraduate students and supports collaboration with additional students.
The award is given in memory of Dr. Elliott Blinn, a professor of chemistry, who dedicated his career to sharing with his undergraduate students the excitement of the process of discovery by directly involving them in basic research/creative work. Wildschutte received a $2,500 award, which included $1,250 transferred to a department account for the continued collaborative research activities with BGSU undergraduate students, as well as a $1,250 cash prize.
Wildschutte has provided numerous undergraduate students the unique opportunity to be directly involved in the discovery of new antibiotic resources and to replace the growing number of antibiotic-resistant drug treatments for infection. Students work with him to isolate bacteria in soil that are producing antibiotics, participating first hand in this critically important step in the process of antibiotic development — a serious global need.
Wildschutte’s students already have identified a gene cluster whose products may inhibit the growth of bacterial human pathogens, and they were the first team from 150 universities in 12 countries to submit a research manuscript on their findings, which was authored by all the students in the lab class.
“Dr. Wildschutte is a professor and adviser who pushes his students to excel, and focuses on making sure they are prepared,” said Abigail Joy, a former undergraduate researcher in Wildschutte’s lab. “I had to learn that unexpected results are not a failure, but a learning experience and a process of discovery and learning. His encouragement and mentorship has inspired me and altered my plans for the future.”