Hope College senior Megan Ludwig of Milbank, S.D., was one of approximately 25 young researchers—and the only undergraduate—to participate in the 2013 “Student/Postdoc Capitol Hill Day” of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) earlier this spring.

Hope was also represented among the graduate-level participants, who included Shirley (Bradley) Dean of the college’s Class of 2010, now pursuing an advanced degree at the Mayo Clinic.

Through the “Hill Day” event, students and postdocs from around the country come to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress.  The event serves to get young researchers involved in science advocacy and also to expose them to how the government works.

Ludwig was selected by the program as a young researcher from South Dakota.  During the event, she discussed the research project “Weapons of Cellular Destruction: Investigating the cytotoxic effects of mycobacteriophage Vix Gene 80.”  The work was a continuing investigation of a virus that was previously identified through a freshman-level, research-based course in phage genomics at the college.

Ludwig conducted the research collaboratively with members of the Hope faculty as well as with other students.  The others involved in the project were Dr. Joseph Stukey, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Virginia McDonough, associate professor of biology; senior Danielle Goodman of Big Rapids; junior Drew Krumm of Brighton; and Daniel Obregon, a student from Loyola University who conducted summer research at Hope through the department of biology’s National Science Foundation “Research Experiences for Undergraduates” grant.

Ludwig is graduating with a biochemistry and molecular biology major and a minor in mathematics, and will be attending graduate school at the University of Michigan in molecular biology.  She is a 2009 graduate of Milbank High School, and the daughter of Brian and Julie Ludwig.