The WVU Office of Undergraduate Research is proud to announce that one of the university's current Beckman Scholars, Abigail Jones, was recently published as the first author of a peer-reviewed publication. The article, “Independent Evolution of a Lysergic Acid Amide in Aspergillus Species,” was published by Jones, Chey Steen, and Daniel Panaccione in volume 87, issue 24 of Applied Environmental Microbiology for December 2021.
Jones, a junior biochemistry and Honors College student with a minor in psychology, got started in research after Dr. Daniel Panaccione spoke her freshman orientation class to about research opportunities at WVU. It sparked her interest, so she asked Panaccione if his lab was hiring and interviewed for a position there two days later.
In Panaccione’s laboratory, Jones works with ergot alkaloids, chemicals that can kill insects, or, when modified, can be used in pharmaceuticals. Jones said the work involves identifying specific fungi and manipulating them for these applications.
In spring 2021, Jones was selected as one of two undergraduate researchers to serve in WVU's second cohort of the Beckman Scholars Program. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation was founded in 1977 by Dr. Arnold O. and Mabel Beckman and supports leading-edge research in the fields of chemistry and the life sciences.