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Biology research project awarded grant


Illinois College Assistant Professor of Biology Gwendowlyn Knapp has been awarded a community grant by Apex Clean Energy and Lincoln Land Wind for a research project exploring microbial drug resistance.

The $2,500 grant will fund equipment and services used for the project.

“I am excited for the funding opportunity that will allow me to work with students at Illinois College to investigate the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Morgan County,” Knapp said. “More importantly, students will have additional authentic research opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Elements of the research will be incorporated into Knapp’s microbiology courses, which she said will give more than 40 undergraduate students hands-on research experience each year. The project also uniquely gives students an opportunity to learn research skills through a project that connects the scientific process to their local community and environment.

The project will focus on ecologically diverse areas in Morgan County, assessing the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria in the soil and monitoring changes in drug-resistant bacteria populations, identifying bacteria strains, and identifying viruses that can kill bacteria.

“With our strong biological sciences program at Illinois College and the addition of the nursing program, this research will help the future health care professionals who graduate from IC better understand some of the key challenges that they will face in their field,” Knapp said.

To learn more about the Biology program at Illinois College, visit

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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Rosalind Essig | Senior Writer
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