Jeremy Brown, a 2018 graduate of Southern Arkansas University with a degree in Biology: Pre-health, created the best poster presentation at this year’s Arkansas Academy of Science meeting.
The work represented his original research project involving CRISPR/Cas9, described as a unique method of genetic manipulation. Brown presented his research in poster format at three scientific conferences, winning top honors at the AAS meeting at Arkansas State University this past April.

According to a press release, Brown, a native of Paris, Texas, worked on the project for two years under the mentorship of Dr. Mikolaj Sulkowski, assistant professor of biology, at SAU. He had earlier collaborated with Dr. Abraham Tucker, assistant professor of biology, on a proof-of-concept project for the use of CRISPR/Cas9. Sulkowski said Brown approached him one day after class with the idea of research involving CRISPR/Cas9. “Coincidentally, I had thought of a project using CRISPR/Cas9 to perform a precise manipulation of a genome,” Sulkowski said. “Jeremy followed me to my office, and we had the first of what would be many fascinating scientific discussions.”

Brown said that without Tucker and Sulkowski, “there would have been no research project.” He described CRISPR/Cas9 as a “revolutionary tool,” and that said Sulkowski envisioned research that would have an impact on the scientific community. “When he told me about the idea of the project, I felt I had found the opportunity to use CRISPR/Cas9 that I had been searching for. It was an invigorating moment that has resonated throughout my experience working with Dr. Sulkowski.”

Sulkowski said Brown created his posters independently, creating original figures and diagrams, and presented his research with enthusiasm and confidence. “His natural curiosity (allows) him to contribute to scientific discussions with both faculty and students,” Sulkowski said.

Brown is applying to medical schools. He wants to obtain his MD-PhD and specialize in academic medicine. “My goal is to teach medicine. I want to be part of the endless cycle of learning and teaching at the highest level possible,” he said.

Sulkowski said Brown has the drive to not only earn his MD-PhD, but to “translate basic biomedical research to help patients. He has the natural ability to become a leader in both research and medicine.”