Monday, July 14, 2014

Faces of SRAP: Holden Bindl

Holden Bindl, a senior from Fort Bridger, Wyoming is spending his summer studying his favorite subjects – math and science.

“I love knowledge,” he says. “And I also love the ability to understand how things work and behave and why.”

Holden (left) and Dr. Franco Basile
Holden gets to apply his love of knowledge this summer as he works with Dr. Franco Basile in the Chemistry department.

“For my project, I’m studying what is released after bacteria are infected with a virus,” he says. “I hope to learn how to determine different substances based off of what they decay into.”

Researchers typically use mass spectrometers to detect molecules that exist within a sample. The size of the mass spectrometer makes it impossible to use in the field or in other locations outside of the lab, but Holden and Dr. Basile are working to make a smaller unit powerful enough to detect bacteria.

“The one that we want to use is much smaller,” says Dr. Basile. “We need to come up with a way to make the analyses possible with this smaller device.”

Holden’s project has many real world applications and can be used in many areas of study.

“The project itself has the potential to have a lot of impact,” says Dr. Basile. “It’s a real need.”

Holden was a student in the SRAP program last summer, working in the Computer Engineering department.

After he graduates from high school, Holden hopes to attend Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California to study both math and physics.

SRAP is a six-week, intensive research program for high school students. It is based at the University of Wyoming and is sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR. To learn more about the program, click here, or search "SRAP" in the archives. 

By Robin Rasmussen
Photo by Robin Rasmussen

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