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April 16, 2004

Perrigo Co. and U-M Life Sciences Institute name undergraduate summer research fellows

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Four of the state’s most promising undergraduate science students have been named to the Perrigo Summer Fellows Program at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute.

The 10-week program puts undergraduate students into the laboratories of the Life Sciences Institute, a new multi-disciplinary research unit of U-M. They will learn from faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in the latest open lab design, where scientists work together in a common space and share equipment.

"This is a new way of doing bench science, and it’s the way of the future," said Daniel Klionsky, LSI senior research scientist who heads the Perrigo Summer Fellows Program. "We’re excited to be helping these students become the kind of scientist the future will need."

Michael Jandernoa, former chairman of the board of Perrigo Co. and member of the Perrigo Summer Fellows Program Committee, said the program was developed "to encourage our state’s highly talented undergraduate students to continue their pursuit of careers in the life sciences in-state.

"This program will provide the students with an opportunity to work with LSI’s world-class scientists," Jandernoa said. "We hope that such exposure will demonstrate some of the great opportunities for pursuing meaningful careers in the life sciences that exist here in Michigan, especially now in the ever-changing global environment of today."

The four Perrigo/LSI Summer Fellows for 2004 are:

• Ashley Haimerl from Westerville, Ohio, a junior in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan. Haimerl has worked in U-M labs studying Alzheimer’s disease and other effects of aging on the brain. Her career interests include neurology research, gerontology and cognitive psychology. "I think biology is fascinating, and I like working with older people."

Joshua Mastenbrook from Plainwell, Mich., a junior in the Lyman Briggs School at Michigan State University, majoring in zoology and physiology. Mastenbrook became interested in research while doing independent projects in MSU’s honors college. "I like knowing what’s going on at the cellular level," he said. "I just find it fascinating to think about all these complex interactions." He is interested in a career in medicine, doing cancer or AIDS research.
Jessica Otto from Grand Rapids, a senior in biology at U-M. Otto has worked in an epidemiology lab investigating breast cancer, and is interested in the role of nutrition in preventative care. "I came to college planning on being pre-med," she said. "However, as time went on, I realized being a medical doctor wasn’t the right fit for me. I wanted to be in a more preventative field, to fix health ailments before they became a serious problem."

Emily Pyle from Marquette, Mich., a senior in biology at Northern Michigan University. "Biology just explains so much," said Pyle, a UP native. "Every little detail explains something, like when I’m driving around seeing the trees change color, now I know why that is." She is interested in medicine as a career, and she also plays and teaches oboe.

The Perrigo Co. has provided a $650,000 endowment to fund the Perrigo Summer Fellowship Program over three years. The U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has also contributed financial support to launch the program. Summer fellows receive a stipend plus housing costs during their ten-week stay in Ann Arbor.

Perrigo/LSI Summer Fellows can come from any college or university in the state. This year’s fellows will decide which of LSI’s 10 labs to work in after they’ve had a chance to meet the faculty and learn about their research. The fellowship will run June 4-Aug. 13.

The LSI is a new unit of U-M that brings together researchers from a variety of scientific disciplines to collaborate in a state-of-the-art "lab without walls." LSI’s faculty are exploring life at the level of cells and molecules  which is where disease occurs and where the best new therapies and cures will be found. The Institute is housed in a 230,000 square-foot, $100 million laboratory facility at the center of U-M’s campus.

Perrigo Co. (Nasdaq: PRGO) is the nation's largest manufacturer of over-the-counter (nonprescription) pharmaceutical and nutritional products sold by supermarket, drug, and mass merchandise chains under their own labels. The company's products include over-the-counter pharmaceuticals such as analgesics, cough and cold remedies, gastrointestinal, and feminine hygiene products, and nutritional products, such as vitamins, nutritional supplements and nutritional drinks.

Related links:

Life Sciences Institute 

Perrigo Company 

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