Fall 2015 Newsletter | Biology | Marquette University




Second year student Bo Kitelinger retired from the U.S. Army after more than 10 years of service, and is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At the Bucks basketball game on October 30th, Bo and his family received a mortgage free home from Operation Finally Home. Congratulations to Bo and his family!




2015 C. elegans Meeting

By: Kevin Sanchez, undergraduate researcher in Dr. Lisa Petrella’s Lab

Petrella Lab at C. elegans Meeting
The Petrella lab at the 2015 C. elegans Meeting. Left to Right: Jerrin Cherian, Keven Sanchez, Nicholas Sepulvida, Meghan Fealey, and Brian Mikeworth


To all you biologists out there: ours is a remarkable and enriching discipline. This past summer I flew from the Duke Marine Laboratory on the Atlantic across the nation to meet up with my lab at Marquette and present a poster at the 2015 C. elegans meeting at UCLA. Over the course of five days I listened and learned from some of the most brilliant minds in biology and learned more than I thought possible about this crazy worm that I study. Each day consisted of workshops and presentations by different faculty and students who each were on a quest to describe specific characteristics of C. elegans. These presentations were punctuated in the afternoon by a hand-picked keynote speaker, who would describe exciting innovations or new ideas for the direction in which to take research. However, the days would always culminate in the poster session, an exhausting event when several hundred people would show posters for hours on end exhibiting their current research. I as well presented a poster on my research with lab in C. elegans fertility in response to different temperatures and environmental conditions. Presenting was actually a terrific experience, as I had to give a spiel on what I had done, but then had to answer questions from experts from around the world, including distinguished biologists like Marieanne Felix and Craig Mello. They in turn could offer suggestions about changes in protocol, ways to analyze data, and even offer coordinative research. Overall, I learned so much from those five days, and I distinctly remember standing outside in the moonlight after a keynote address, watching the hundreds of people socialize and talk about science for hours. I noted that opportunities like this don’t come often for an undergrad: to be in the presence of some of the great minds of the world and to interact with and learn from the hundreds of other nerds who were studying this wacky worm. It was truly a beneficial trip in so many different ways, as well as a memorable experience I will have in my mind for years to come.




2015 Neuroscience Meeting

By: Alexis Monical, undergraduate researcher in Dr. Michelle Mynlieff’s Lab

Alexis Monical

I really enjoyed being a part of the larger scientific community. I would recommend that any student who gets a change to go to a professional conference, do it! The amount of information there is overwhelming but if you can even soak in parts of other people's research it helps you understand neuroscience on a greater level. Presenting my research with other undergraduates was my favorite part. It is very rewarding to explain all the work I've done on my project and realize just how much I've done. The poster I presented was, "Characterization of calcium dependent potassium channels in the neonatal hippocampus". As part of my research in Dr. Michelle Mynlieff’s lab, I looked at the different components of calcium dependent potassium channels in the neonatal hippocampus and classified two main types of current. I also looked at how L-type calcium regulates both types of current through different kinds of potassium channels.






By: Emily Legan, undergraduate researcher in Dr. Anita Manogaran’s Lab

Emily Legan

The poster I presented at both the Midwestern Yeast Meeting and the Honors Research Symposium was titled, "Pharmacologically inhibiting actin provides insight into prion formation". Presenting at the Midwestern Yeast Meeting has been one of the highlights of my college career because I was surrounded by people who are really passionate about the research they conduct, and it really illuminated all the possibilities yeast has to offer. Some of the projects that were presented varied from heat-shock events in the cell to oncology research. Brett Wisneiski and I were two of the very few undergrads present at the meeting, so some of the presentations went over our heads. When I was presenting my poster, I was really nervous at first because pretty much everyone there was an expert on yeast, and I wanted to represent Dr. Manogaran well, in addition to having my project be well-received.  Fortunately, pretty much all of the people that stopped by my poster were incredibly friendly and attentive. We talked about my project and the future directions that I planned on taking, but we also talked about other things such as traveling, good sushi, and grad school, which is my next adventure after undergrad.


The Honors Research Symposium was also a fun experience because it was the first time that most of the people who stopped at my poster had little to no science background. This caused me to change the focus of my presentation and make it more big picture rather than go through all the details that a science student or professor would expect to hear. I had the opportunity to present to some of my friends who are also in the Honors Program and my theology professor from freshman year.


Additionally, it was really interesting to see other presenters’ research, some of which was scientific like mine, but also research in the humanities, which I don't have much exposure to. For example, I was in a corner next to a poster about G-protein coupled receptors and a poster about the population's feelings toward Katniss Everdeen. Ultimately, it's just really cool to see what projects other people are devoting their time to and how diverse research actually is.





Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
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