Erin Jonasson, Ph.D, an assistant chemistry professor at Saint Martin’s University, has won a $121,345 research grant from the National Science Foundation, the Lacey college recently announced.

The grant will fund research into a cellular substructure called the cytoskeleton, which is involved in cell movement, DNA partitioning, and internal cell organization. The research could potentially be applied to fields such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology, according to a statement on the school’s website.

“Dr. Jonasson’s NSF grant is exciting. Her promise as a young scholar is demonstrated in winning this very competitive grant,” Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in the statement. “It also demonstrates our science faculty’s commitment to research and exploration, activities that will gain momentum with grants such as these and the opening of the new science building.”

Jonasson will lead the research project and Dr. Holly Goodson, chemistry professor from the University of Notre Dame, will provide support. The project will not only benefit science, it will also provide valuable opportunities to Saint Martin’s University students.

“This work is at the edge of what is known and unknown in science,” Jonasson said in the statement. “The project will give students hands-on research and job experience, in addition to the opportunity to pursue professional development opportunities through conferences and presentations. It will give them experience so they can jump forward on their career paths.”