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LETU Biology Student Identifies Solheim Virus


LeTourneau University biology student Brian "Blake" Maxfeldt, 20, of Katy, Texas, has isolated a novel virus on the LeTourneau University campus outside the Solheim Center, and has chosen to name it the Solheim virus.

The Solheim virus has been isolated and purified, according to Dr. Greg Frederick, LETU microbiologist and biology department chair. This virus has been imaged via Transmission Electron Microscopy. (See attached.) The Solheim virus is one of the first novel viruses to be isolated on the LeTourneau campus.

"LeTourneau University undergraduate students have the opportunity to do cutting-edge research that many students at other universities do as graduate students," said LETU Dean of Education, Arts and Sciences Larry Frazier.

LETU is one of only a handful of universities in Texas, and the only one in East Texas, doing this virus research with undergraduate students.

Funds are currently being sought to conduct genomic sequencing and further molecular and bioinformatics characterization of the Solheim virus. More detailed information for the Solheim virus can be found online at http://phagesdb.org/phages/Solheim.

The Solheim Center where Maxfeldt located the virus is named in honor of long-time LETU Board of Trustees member John Solheim, who has served on the LETU Board of Trustees since 1992 and has been a generous donor to LeTourneau University.

LeTourneau University is the premier polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in Dallas and Houston. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.

Categories: Biology