WSU Biochemistry Major Wins Research Award

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University biochemistry and premedicine student Jared Wyrick recently received a Pfizer Inc., Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to support his research on the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.
Wyrick was one of 60 students across the nation to receive one of the $5,000 awards from Pfizer, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company. The grant provides a research stipend and laboratory equipment for Wyrick’s work with biochemistry professor Kevin Bertrand. Their research focuses on a series of proteins that functions like a pump.
“These proteins export antibiotics from the inside of the bacteria to the outside, where they are ineffective,”said Bertrand. “The pump can work with many bacteria, but we have been researching its action in E. coli. To counteract this action in disease causing bacteria, antibiotics need to be used at high dosages.”
The award also includes a two-day tour of Pfizer’s Central Research Campus in Groton, Conn., for Wyrick and Bertrand in the fall. At that time Wyrick will make a poster presentation of his summer’s research.
Wyrick, a junior in WSU’s Honors College, is a 1996 graduate of Mead High School in Spokane. His parents are Ron and June Wyrick, 4503 E. Red Roan Dr., Spokane.