Otterbein Associate Professor Jennifer Bennett’s published article and video features Otterbein students and recent grads

Posted Apr 05, 2019

Otterbein Associate Professor Jennifer Bennett’s written and video article, Visual and Microscopic Evaluation of Streptomyces Developmental Mutants, was recently published in the scientific methods Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

Otterbein alum Sean Kirk '19 Filming For Jove

Otterbein alum Sean Kirk onset for the JoVE video shoot.


The article was designed to teach bacterial genetics techniques to students of research around the globe. Bennett and her team of scientists presented protocols to initiate phenotyping for the pharmacologically important bacteria Streptomyces in both written and video features. The article was published in September 2018 and already has over 1,000 views from institutions around the world.


Bennett’s video shows researchers how to work with bacteria on all levels to find new antibiotics or species within the bacteria. Streptomyces bacteria are in great demand for new antibiotics as they currently produce over two-thirds of the clinically useful antibiotics of natural origin.


“There’s a big demand for new antibiotics because the microbes that are causing infections in people are becoming resistant to many of the antibiotics,” Bennett said. “This particular article is suited for anyone getting into the Streptomyces genetics field or looking for new antibiotics. They do that by going out in the soil and looking for new microbes, and a lot of these new species are going to be species of Streptomyces.”


Bennett invited two Otterbein undergraduates at the time for the rare opportunity to co-author the article. These students, who graduated in April of 2017 and 2018, were the scientific actors who demonstrated the techniques in the film and wrote the methodology for the publication. Both students had previous experience working in Bennett’s lab for multiple years. They also spent a summer with Bennett’s collaborator at Duquesne University completing data sets which connected their earlier Otterbein research on the Streptomyces bacteria.


“This JoVE article was very unique with the inclusion of video,” Bennett said. “On top of that, there aren’t that many undergraduate students that are able to publish in a scientific journal. It sets them apart.”


One student, Garrett Kandell, who was a biochemistry and molecular biology major, had spent two years assisting Bennett and credits this opportunity to his current accomplishments.


“I enjoyed my time in Dr. Bennett’s lab and truly believe that working in her lab played a large role in my acceptance to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine,” Kandell said. “I will be starting research at Boonshoft in the near future and taking the invaluable skills I learned in Dr. Bennett’s lab and furthering them. Joining her lab gave me an ample number of experiences and skills.”


Bennett has given this unique opportunity to multiple Otterbein students and is currently in the process of publishing various research articles co-authored by students. She looks forward to publishing more of her own research, and is honored that JoVE has invited her back for another article. Eventually Bennett plans to pursue other meaningful opportunities and roles such as becoming the editor for a scientific journal.


If you are interested in learning more about Bennett’s research, check out her article on phenotyping Streptomyces bacteria.