Florida Tech Biology Student Earns Prestigious Summer Internship at National Institute on Aging

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Jenni Larmore, a Florida Institute of Technology undergraduate majoring in interdisciplinary science, who will be a senior in fall 2011, has been accepted into a prestigious internship with the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Md. During the biomedical internship this summer her research will be focused on a gene only expressed during pregnancy. This will be her third summer as an intern with the National Institutes of Health; the previous two summers she has interned in the National Cancer Institute there.

The highly competitive program, which begins in late May and ends in August, is intended to develop skills in scientific research.

In April, Larmore presented a poster on her summer research at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) student caucus and poster section during the 102nd annual meeting. This meeting is one of the largest cancer meetings with more than 16,000 international scientists attending, including several Nobel Laureates.

From Clermont, Fla., in 2010 Larmore earned an Associate in Arts degree in biology from Lake-Sumter Community College. While there, she received the President’s Award and several leadership awards; she was involved in the Brain Bowl Academic Competition team, made the Dean’s List, was active in Student Government and was a chair in a scholarship 5K Run. She also earned awards for her nonfiction writing and photography.

She participated in NASA programs in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, she took part in the NASA/Space Florida Undergraduate Academy. In that experience, she used research and problem-solving skills to help launch a weather balloon 100,000 feet high, recording video and GPS data. In 2010 she was chosen as a NASA National Community College Aerospace Scholar and completed assignments involving the planning of a robotics mission to Mars. She also built and tested a robotic rover at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Additionally she is a 2010 and 2011 NASA Solar System Ambassador; her goal is to educate others about space.

Larmore was chosen for the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station experience in the Utah desert in December 2009. She served as the Biologist, Executive officer, and Health & Safety officer. She was the youngest and only undergraduate of the six-member crew. Her research focused primarily on contamination and the effects of wearing a space suit.

At Florida Tech, Larmore conducts research on cell growth regulation in E. coli in the laboratories of Alan Leonard and Julia Grimwade. Larmore has received an Outstanding Student award in the Department of Biology, is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, Kiwanis International and a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA. When not in the lab, Larmore is frequently volunteering, lifeguarding or keeping up with friends from around the world.

Although home-schooled in high school, Larmore completed the majority of her classes in the Florida Virtual School and competed on the varsity swim team all four years for East Ridge High School. After graduating from Florida Tech, she plans to pursue her PhD, likely with a focus on genetics.


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