Spring 2015 Newsletter | Biology | Marquette University

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BUS STOP

 

BUS Leaders

BUS leaders Back: Steve Schmitt, Kailyn Phillips, Alexis Arias, Stephanie Yeager, and Garrett Panno. Front-Dominka Stasik and Emily Nett.

 

After coming back from Winter break the Biological Undergraduate Society (BUS) hit the ground running as it hosted a mini-talk night two weeks into the new semester to provide students with different options of what you can do with a Biology degree outside of professional and graduate school. In March, a Lab Explorations event gave students a glimpse into the different types of research that faculty in the department conduct. Students toured professors’ labs and had the opportunity to learn about their work in small groups.

In April, BUS students were invited to Byron Kilbourn Elementary School to volunteer at their First Annual Science Family Fun Night. The students planned and demonstrated experiments for Kilbourn students and their families. The parents and students at Kilbourn School were inspired by exploring science. Many of them had never had the opportunity before to explore science as such a positive experience.


Undergraduate Research Day

On April 24th, the Department of Biological Sciences hosted the Undergraduate Research Day. As part of this event, more than 20 students presented their independent research during a poster session. Following the poster session, this year’s undergraduate research award winners presented seminars on their work.

Undergraduate Research Poster Catherine Jenson explains her project to a fellow undergraduate

Undergraduate Research Posters
Noah Warshawsky and Emily Nett present the research they did in Dr. Lisa Petrella's lab

Awards

 

Catherine Welsh Smith Research Award

Aman GrewalThe Catherine Welsh Smith Award in Biological Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in biological research by a junior or senior majoring in Biological Sciences. The award committee selects the winner from nominations from faculty of students who have displayed talent for research, including initiative, independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments.


Aman Grewal, this year’s winner, has spent the past two years working in Dr. Edward Blumenthal’s lab. His research was focused determining the function of the Drosophila drop-dead (drd) gene in the eggshell. He was trying to determine why the vitelline membrane of drd mutants does not properly crosslink. He performed many assays where he incubated mutant oocytes in particular solutions as an attempt to rescue crosslinking. However, these attempts were not successful and the lab now has a new hypothesis explaining why the vitelline membrane proteins do not crosslink. After graduation in May, Aman will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Research Award

Kylli PaavolaThe Department of Biological Sciences Research Award in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology recognizes outstanding achievement in research by a junior or senior majoring in the Biological Sciences Department. The award committee selects the winner from nominations from faculty of students who have displayed talent for research, including initiative, independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments on their own, and from an abstract submitted by the student.


BMB Research Award winner Kylli Paavola is a graduating senior double majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Political Science. She started working in Dr. Krassimira Hristova’s environmental microbiology lab in June 2014, and continued her research throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. The overall objective of her research is to determine if invasive dresseneid mussels, native if the Milwaukee Harbor, could be indicators for water pollution with human pathogens. Utilizing quantitative real time PCR she monitored water, sediment and mussels samples for human fecal biomarkers following an environmental Combined Sewage Overflow event in Lake Michigan. In addition, mussels and water were monitored from an in vitro lab experiment set up to mirror the environmental event, where mussels were fed with raw sewage from Jones Island Waste Water Treatment Plant. After graduation, Kylli will be attending the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee for her Master’s in Public Health, emphasis in Environmental Science/Epidemiology.


Physiological Sciences Research Award

Monica LopezThe Department of Biological Sciences Research Award in Physiological Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in research by a junior or senior majoring in the Biological Sciences Department. The award committee selects the winner from nominations from faculty of students who have displayed talent for research, including initiative, independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments on their own, and from an abstract submitted by the student.


Monica B. Lopez Suarez, winner of this year’s Physiological Sciences Research Award, has spent the past two years working in Dr. Robert Fitts’ lab doing cardiac electrophysiology research. Her project focused on the effects acute running has in protecting against ischemia induced heart cell death with the use of rat hearts as a model system. This research has clinical relevance, as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Also part of her whole heart work, she has spent time studying the effects exercise training has on the monophasic action potential (MAP) while exposed to conditions of regional ischemia and high heart rates. This tests the hypothesis that exercise training results in a shortened monophasic action potential during ischemia and at high heart rates due to increased KATP channel function. After graduating in May with a Physiological Sciences degree, Monica will be working full-time in the Medical College of Wisconsin – Tissue Bank as a Laboratory Assistant.


Biological Sciences Academic Achievement Award

Jamie CollinsThe Biological Sciences Academic Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding academic achievement in the Biological Sciences Department by a senior majoring in Biological Sciences, Physiological Sciences, or Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. The award committee selects the winner based on a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and above, the student’s sciences GPA, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.


Academic Achievement Award Winner, Jamie Collins is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences and Spanish, and minoring in English. She is also in the Honors Program. Jamie has spent the past year researching in Dr. Allison Abbott's lab, where she has studied calcium-dependent rhythmic behaviors. Specifically, she has worked on investigating the functions of two genes, dec-1 and dec-2, in regulation of C. elegans defecation. After graduation, Jamie will attend medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

 


Biology Matters

FacebookEach semester, the Department of Biological Sciences follows one course as a part of their Facebook series: Biology Snapshots. Spring 2015’s featured course was BIOL 1003: Biology Matters. This course introduces undergrads to the range of career paths open to them as majors in the biological sciences. Students heard from a genetic counselor, current graduate student, a professor of pharmaceutical science, and a laboratory supply sales representative, just to name a few. Each week, guest speakers discussed their jobs, and the paths they took to get where they are. Read more about each speaker on our Facebook page.

 




 

 


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