We describe, as a case study, work done by two undergraduate students on a specific enzyme in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. One student worked on trying to quantify gene expression changes and biochemical activity of the enzyme isocitrate lyase under hypoxic versus normal conditions. Meanwhile, the second student undertook a bioinformatics approach, comparing sequences from T. thermophila with those of other species and using a variety of tools to predict molecular protein structures and compare these from an evolutionary perspective. This interaction happened somewhat serendipitously, but proved to be very productive. We are hoping to design an undergraduate research program that actually encourages these kinds of student interactions, using a cohort approach. We are also looking to improve access to undergraduate research to more students, particularly underrepresented minority students and others, who are often unaware of opportunities, or who may feel unqualified.