Research and rounds
Adam Burgoyne started thinking about a
career in medicine when, in high school, he lost two grandparents to
cancer. He found his love of molecular biology research as a college
freshman in a University of Maine laboratory.
When he graduates this May, he plans to pursue a career in oncology in
order to work with cancer patients and to conduct cancer research. To do
that, he is entering an M.D.-Ph.D. program. He's been accepted at Case
Western Reserve University and the University of California in Los
Angeles, but hasn't decided where he's headed in the fall.
"Research for me is an indirect way of helping society, and when working
with patients, I'll have direct impact," says Burgoyne, a native of
Burgoyne is graduating with three bachelor's degrees in the fields of
molecular biology, biochemistry and French. He spent his undergraduate
years, including summers, conducting research with Dan Distel, associate
professor of biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.
In the lab, Burgoyne's focus was on shipworms, an elongated clam that
burrows into wood, damaging marine piers and ships. In his research,
Burgoyne studied the enzymes responsible for degradation.
His research was the subject of a poster he presented at the American
Society for Microbiology last May, as well as his honors thesis.
Burgoyne spent a summer as a MERITS (Maine Research Internships for
Teachers and Students) intern, and most recently, was one of 300
students nationwide to receive a 2003 Goldwater Scholarship.
"I've had a great experience at UMaine because the department is small
and the university is not gigantic," says Burgoyne, whose parents are
alumni. "I credit the faculty and staff with getting me where I'm
Better building products
In 1995, Carmen Cherry left Tenants Harbor, Maine, with her sights set
on an engineering career. Now, after graduating from Stanford and
receiving a master's from Columbia University in 2000, she has returned
to her home state to get a Ph.D., doing research in the University of
Maine's Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Center.
Her first project is to develop a new wood composite product for the
residential construction industry.
Before coming to Orono last summer, she worked for a New York
engineering firm developing specifications for the renovation of Penn
Station. She also swung her hammer on the framing crew of a house
Today, she is working with Habib Dagher, AEWC director; Assistant
Professor Bill Davids; and John Crowley, owner of New England Classic
and NetForms Inc., of Falmouth, Maine, to develop a better insulated
structural building panel. Their goal is a product that enables builders
to reduce construction costs and increase building resistance to
stresses, such as high winds and earthquakes.
The basis for her project is a patented panel designed by Crowley and a
team of researchers while he was an associate professor at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of their Innovative
Building Products Program. It is essentially a sandwich. Thin
plywood-like sheets known as oriented strand board (OSB) are on the
outside, and fiberglass insulation is on the inside.
To find out if Crowley's panel has market potential, Cherry wrote a
successful application for a $10,000 seed grant from the Maine
Technology Institute. She and her colleagues are surveying home builders
about their desire for and willingness to use an insulated panel
product. They also are focusing on panel design, paying particular
attention to connections between the panels.
"We've narrowed our project to creating a panel that will resist lateral
loads, be internally ventilated, use less expensive glass insulation and
use OSB as all of its structural components," Cherry says.