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2012 graduate Daniel Kober experienced 'dream job' through research program

July 18, 2012 | Chase Replogle

A year before graduating with a double major in Biology and Chemistry from Evangel University, Daniel Kober had the opportunity of his life.

“I got a chance to work at my dream job for two months, and it taught me a lot about the science research mindset and culture,” said Kober, about his participation in the Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at Missouri University-Columbia during the summer of 2011.

Kober, a 2012 Evangel graduate from Menasha, Wisconsin, worked under the direction of Professor Stefan Sarafianos of the molecular microbiology and immunology department at MU.

“I picked this internship because I was very interested in the research topics of Dr. Sarafianos’ lab,” Kober said.

His work in Columbia focused on SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus) specifically on certain proteins that are thought to be involved with the viral replication.

“Besides lab work, I sat in many seminars and presentations from other researchers and picked up a lot of general knowledge.”

Daniel Kober presents his research to Dr. Steve Badger

Daniel Kober (left) presented his project on SARS-CoV at the MU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum last summer. It now hangs in the Evangel University Science and Technology Department. He is pictured here with Dr. Steve Badger, professor of chemistry at Evangel University.

After conducting his research, Kober presented his project at the MU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum. There, the methods and results of the research projects were presented on posters.

“The poster session was a chance for all of the undergraduate researchers to see the finished products of their peers’ work,” said Kober. “It also was a chance to present my work to other lab members and professors that visited.”

Kober’s poster is now on display in the Science and Tech Department at Evangel, and his work was presented to his Evangel classmates during the Spring 2012 semester.

“Dan was an exceptional student — self-motivated and eager to learn,” said Dr. Steve Badger, professor of chemistry at Evangel (pictured with Kober in the top photo). “Response from his supervisors at MU was excellent.”

Evangel has a strong emphasis on Research Experiences for Undergrads, according to Badger. “REU is a program designed to help top students like Dan participate in research projects funded by the National Science Foundation.”

Kober is now enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at Washington University in St. Louis. He started a summer research lab rotation in June. Kober said that what made his Evangel education unique was the element of faith that his professors included in their classes. “I learned a lot about integrating faith into my profession from the professors in the Science Department, both from classes and from private discussions.

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