Horace G. McDonell Summer Research Science Fellowship
Through the competitive Horace G. McDonell Summer Research Science Fellowship program, eight Adelphi University students have been awarded an opportunity to do intensive hands-on, full-time rigorous science research in biology, chemistry, and physics for 10 weeks. The Fellowship program started in 2011 through the generosity of Adelphi alumnus Horace G. McDonell, Jr. ’52, ’02 (Hon.), Adelphi trustee emeritus and a retired chairman and CEO of PerkinElmer, Inc. The students received a $4,000 stipend and benefit from working closely with a faculty mentor, conducting experiments in a research lab and gaining state-of-the-art training.
Biology major Anna Michalik ’15, under the guidance of Associate Professor Alan Schoenfeld, is working in his cancer genetics lab conducting research on the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene to get a better understanding of the relationship between aPKC and VHL proteins and its effects on the formation of kidney cancer. As a part of the experimentation, she will be introducing a normal form of aPKC into kidney cells to study its effects.
After working on developing sensors to detect industrial improvised explosive devices last summer under the same fellowship, physics major Sajan Shrestha ’13 will be teaming up with Associate Professor Sean J. Bentley this summer to study fundamental aspects of Quantum Theory. While there are students in the senior year like Mr. Shrestha participating in the fellowship, students who just completed the freshman year aren’t left out. Physics major Michael Treitsch ’15, in the joint degree program with Columbia University for engineering, is partnering with Professor Gottipaty N. Rao this summer to develop a sensor for monitoring nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO2, which is also a greenhouse gas, is partly responsible for acid rain and smog. By helping detect the traces of NO2 with more precision, this sensor can help in controlling smog caused by NO2 emissions.
Biology major Halvor Adams’ 15, who presented a poster at the last Adelphi University Undergraduate Research Conference focused his research on the effects of invasive and native predators on the hatching rates of Nucella lapillus or dog whelk, which are intertidal marine snails that range from Long Island to Newfoundland, and across Europe. He observed and recorded the hatching of the Nucella from their egg masses over a six week period and found out that the snails delayed hatching when exposed to some crab cues but not others. This summer, Mr. Adams will be travelling to Maine with Assistant Professor Aaren Freeman and continuing the work on the ecology of whelk reproduction.
Like Mr. Adams, Shaun Y. Gu ’15 a double major in English and biology, will be involved in a related project with Assistant Professor Aram Stump on the dog whelk snail, primarily focused on whelk genetics.
Biochemistry major Ana Galesic ’13, mentored by Assistant Professor Brian Stockman, is researching the Molecular Crowding Effects on Flavodoxin Structure. Last summer, she volunteered at a blood diagnostic lab in Croatia, her home country. This summer, she will develop new scientific research skills.
Yuseok Jung ’14, with a dual major in chemistry and biology, has aspirations toward doing science research. His inspiration comes from his grandfather who was a physics professor. Mr. Jung, who is working under the direction of Assistant Professor Melissa Van Alstine, is synthesizing a derivative of ATP that may be used as a probe for binding to specific proteins. He is using Adelphi’s new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which details the structure of organic molecules.
Eilliut Alicea’s ’15 is a biology major who started working as a research assistant for Assistant Professor Matthias W. Foellmer since freshman year. He began working with Assistant Professor Tandra Chakraborty after sophomore year when they collaborated on a review paper: “Relationships between Urinary Biomarkers of Phytoestrogens, Phathaletes, Phenols, and Pubertal Stages in Girls.” This summer, he will continue his work with Professor Chakraborty on a project aimed to determine the pathway of estrogen action on hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia (i.e. glucose) is the main metabolic fuel of the brain and its availability is directly linked to neuronal activity.
In the fall, the eight students will be presenting the research they completed. To learn more about the sciences at Adelphi, visit academics.adelphi.edu/artsci/.
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