In the Sandefur Laboratory, undergraduate researchers at the University of North Carolina Pembroke combine molecular genetics, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling to pursue research on medicinal plants used by Southeast American Indians. The project is an investigation into the cellular mechanisms of the efficacy of medicinal plants to address two main research questions: (1) has a decline in the use of traditional medicines resulted in the removal of positive health benefits that and (2) do interactions between currently used traditional medicines and western therapies contribute to health disparities in American Indian communities?

Additionally, Sandefur Lab members engage in STEM outreach at local schools, using storytelling to introduce computational modeling of biological concepts.