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April 3, 2013

Students Will Present Research at Annual Meeting of Pa. Academy of Science

Twenty-seven students will present research papers with their faculty mentors at the 89th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science April 5-7 at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Professor Megan Rothenberger, wearing a white lab coat, works in the lab with Alyssa Calomeni '11, who looks through a microscope.

Professor Megan Rothenberger, right, works in the lab with Alyssa Calomeni ’11.

Mary Higgins ’15 (Annandale, N.J.), a biology major, and Anna Peterson ’15 (Seattle, Wash.), a biochemistry major, will present “Cross-Receptor Desensitization of T Cell and Chemokine Receptors in the T cells of Tumor Bearing Mice” with Robert Kurt, associate professor and head of biology, and Chun Wai Liew, associate professor of computer science.

Kurt has also mentored the following seven students, who will present papers:

  • Caroline Vail ’13 (Bethlehem, Pa.), biology
    “The Culturing and Immortalization of Murine Fallopian Tube Secretory Cells as a New Method of Studying Ovarian Cancer”
  • Antonio Serrano ’13 (Millstone Township, N.J.), biology
    “Construction of an Inducible Eukaryotic Expression Vector to Down-regulate Myd88 expression in a Mouse Breast Cancer Model”
  • Maria Liberti ’13 (West Paterson, N.J.), biology
    “The Damaging Effects of Auranofin on 4T1Murine Mammary Carcinoma Cells”
  • Christine Vrakas ’13 (Hillsborough, N.J.), biology
    “The measure of damage-associated molecular pattern molecules and their role in recruiting suppressor cells in tumor-bearing mice”
  • Tiffany Phuong ’16 (Aldan, Pa.), biology
    “Creating a tetracycline inducible eukaryotic expression vector encoding shRNA specific for Myd88 using two recombination reactions”
  • Amanda Rubin ’16 (Morganville, N.J.), chemical engineering
    Noelle Kosarek ’16 (Kinnelon, N.J.), biology
    “Murine Mammary Carcinoma Cell Growth Inhibition by Auranofin”

Mia Spitz ’16 (Westfield, N.J.) and Stacy Nganga ’16 (Easton, Pa.), a neuroscience major, worked with Laurie Caslake, associate professor of biology, and John Drummond, biology lab coordinator, on “Microbes in Cosmetics: Piloting a Microbial Investigation for the General Biology Laboratory”

Caslake also mentored the following students in their research:

  • Michael Mastria ’16 (Middletown, N.J.), biology
    Camila Moscoso ’16 (Falls Church, Va.), biology
    “Analysis of Desert Crust Isolates for the Gene Encoding Bleomycin Resistance”
  • Tiffany Kimmel ’13 (Pitman, Pa.), biology
    Michael Galperin ’16 (Warminster, Pa.), biology
    Jasmeen Saini ’16 (Bethlehem, Pa.), biology
    “Effects of a Quorum Sensing Inhibitor on Pseudomonad Biofilm Formation in Sandy Soil”

Megan Rothenberger, assistant professor of biology, worked with the following students, who will present at the conference:

  • Thomas Swaffield ’13 (Dover, Mass.), biology
    Alyssa Calomeni ’11, biology graduate
    Carolyn Cabrey ’12, biology graduate
    “Fifty years later: re-examining the cultural eutrophication problem in Raritan Bay, NJ using environmental monitoring and multivariate ordination techniques”
  • Ryan Hughes ’13 (Easton, Pa.), biology
    “Survey of macroinvertebrate communities as biological indicators of water quality utilized for assessing the effects of dam removal along the Bushkill Creek in Easton, Pennsylvania”
  • Alex Pong ’13 (Houston, Texas), biology
    “Competitive interactions between the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, and the Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus”

Elaine Reynolds, associate professor of biology, mentored the following students:

  • Jessica Baylor ’16 (Watsontown, Pa.), biology
    Ayari Diaz-Kelly ’16 (Red Hook, N.J.), biology
    Kathryn King ’16 (Basalt, Colo.), biology
    “Altered sedation but no tolerance in a Drosophila model of alcoholism”
  • David Gannon ’16 (Eagan, Minn.), neuroscience
    Kofi Boateng ’16 (Bronx, N.Y.), neuroscience
    “Effects of dietary modulation in a drosophila epilepsy model”

Hannah Komar ’13 (Danville, Pa.), a biology major, will present “Comparative expression analysis of Phytophthora sojae Polysaccharide Lyase family 3 genes during infection of the soybean Glycine max” with Manuel Opsina-Giraldo, assistant professor of biology.

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