MMC Biology Students Earn Accolades at Regional Research Symposium

April 21, 2014
  • Left to right: Victoria McIlrath, Iris Platt, Alice Trye, Marisa Dunigan, Katie Ness
The Department of Natural Sciences recently announced that on Saturday, April 12, five students presented their research findings at the 8th Annual Undergraduate Symposium in the Biological and Chemical Sciences at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Presenters included two students working under the guidance of Dr. Ann Aguanno:

  • Victoria McIlrath: “Using Breast Cancer Cells to Teach Students about Cell Division and Signaling through Cell Culture Techniques: A Simple Lab Module”
  • Alice Trye: “Elucidating the Role of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 in Insulin Exocytosis: Studies toward Understanding a Possible Link between Neurodegeneration and Type II Diabetes” - First Place in Cell and Molecular Biology

Three students presented under the guidance of Dr. Alessandra Leri:

  • Marisa Dunigan: “Chlorination Activity in the Common Greenshield Lichen Flavoparmelia Caperata”
  • Katherine Ness: “ATR-FTIR Analysis of Crude Oil Composition” - Second Place in Environmental Science
  • Iris Platt: “Changes in Organic Composition of Phytoplankton Detritus as a Result of Oxidative Degradation” - Second Place in Biochemistry

These students competed in a field of 98 undergraduate presenters in ten different subject categories. Their competitors came from Yale, Columbia, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, and Pace, among many other colleges and universities.

Ms. Trye, Ms. Ness, and Ms. Platt were presented their awards by Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto, the discoverer of buckminsterfullerene, the C60 “buckyball.” Sir Harold was the keynote speaker at the symposium.

For more photos from the event, please visit the 2014 Undergraduate Symposium in the Biological and Chemical Sciences gallery page.