Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Members of the newly formed Campus Police Department drill team, standing tall in their new Class A uniforms, will lead the Class of 2002 onto Killian Court for Commencement ceremonies on Friday.
The team made its debut in the Cambridge Memorial Day parade.
"They're looking sharp," said Lt. Daniel Costa, a former Marine Corps drill instructor who is coaching the seven-man team. "They certainly have determination and enthusiasm.
Costa, who joined the Campus Police in January after 28 years with the Massachusetts State Police, was asked to form the team by Chief John DiFava, a state police academy classmate. Costa was a member of the state police drill team for 15 years.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3 to 6 p.m., the officers practice rifle drills and flag presentation at the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston, when available, or on Steinbrenner Field.
"If they could, they'd drill all day," Costa said.
Five members will lead the Commencement procession: two carrying M1 rifles and the other three carrying the flags of the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and MIT. The uniforms feature a cross belt and Garrison hat designed especially for the team.
The team members, all volunteers, are Officers Bill Smith, a 30-year veteran of the Campus Police; Kevin O'Connor, 14 years; Bennett Chin, eight years; Orlando Tirella, four years; Willard Boulter, four years; Duane Keegan, three years; and Jamie DiGregorio, three years.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.