The Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) selected Kaitlyn Faries as the 2017-2018 Virginia J. Stooker Endowed Scholar. Of the 100 scholars chosen for awards this year by the PEO, only eleven received the special designation of being named an Endowed or Named Scholar. The PEO’s competitive merit-based awards provide partial support for study and research for women who will make significant contributions in their fields of study.
Kaitlyn is involved in an array of research projects in Prof. Dewey Holten’s lab that, while distinct, all aim to increase the understanding of the earliest steps of photosynthesis, the process by which organisms absorb light energy (using pigments) and convert it to chemical energy. One such project involves adding new, non-native pigment-protein complexes called fluorescent proteins (FP) to photosynthetic organisms to increase the amount of the solar spectrum utilized by the organisms.