Michael Ream


I am currently a senior in Chemical Engineering.

I was born and raised in Somerset. A small town in the mountains of western PA, where not much of anything happens. I am a very big fan of Pittsburgh sports teams, and sports in general my favorite being basketball. I am a huge fan of almost all music and attempt to play bass guitar and piano.

I have been working with Dr. Curtis in his lab since my sophomore year. I originally joined the lab to explore the alternative energy applications of algae biofuels. Shortly after, I became interested in the incredible capabilities of the biological world. His diverse lab has fueled my curiosity and allowed me to grow as a researcher. I was able to work on a variety of projects including my current project of making glowing plants!


I began by working on a method to easily and effectively separate Botryococcus braunii from a solution or fresh water sample. The project was affectionately nicknamed “Botry Kits” and was later passed to underclassmen looking to work in the algae field.

I then researched and constructed the ThorLab optical imaging equipment in the lab as part of the DARPA Insect Allies project. I trained numerous personnel on the use of the equipment and generated training materials on the use of the optics. I also designed a similar microscope for our collaborators in University of Florida and UTSA. Dr. Curtis and I took a trip down to UF where I constructed the microscope and trained personnel on its use <Thorlab Microscope SOP>. I remain the primary contact for upgrades and use on the optical equipment in the lab.

To develop molecular biology skills during my senior year, I worked on my own project to generate glowing plants! I am attempting to integrate a luciferin biosynthesis pathway into the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. I am using a circadian clock based promoter to only have the bioluminescence active at night. Hopefully, I will have exciting pictures of glowing plants soon.


2018 REU presentation poster and slides


- Dean’s List 2016-2019

- Summer Research Fellowship for Chemical Engineering 2018

- McWhirter Scholarship in Chemical Engineering 2018-2019

- Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship 2019

Contact Information:

Phone:  8142333531

Email: mjr6001@psu.edu

Personal Email (not checked daily): mjream888@gmail.com

Lab Rat,
Jun 10, 2019, 2:15 PM