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The Magnificent Five

(Left to right) Regina Stevens-Truss, Lindsey Gaston, Sandrine Zilikana, Laura Lowe Furge, and Mara Livezey

Majors Sandrine Zilikana ’12 and Mara Livezey ’13 and biology major Lindsey Gaston ’12  joined chemistry department faculty members Regina Stevens-Truss and Laura Lowe Furge at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Meeting in San Diego in late April. The students presented results of their summer research experiences (part of the Senior Individualized Projects for Sandrine and Lindsey) as part of both the Annual Undergraduate Poster Competition and the regular scientific sessions of the meeting.

More than 200 students from schools across the country were part of the undergraduate poster competition.  Zilikana’s research measured differences in reducing the potential of cancer cell types to affect drug delivery. She conducted this scientific work at the University of Michigan with Professor Kyung-Dall Lee.  Gaston’s showed that the hormone grehlin prevented nerve cell death after brain injury. Her research, conducted with Professor Vishal Bansal at the University of California-San Diego, will be included in a manuscript just accepted to the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Livezey presented the results of a study she has worked on for the past two years in Furge’s lab modeling the interactions of inhibitors with human cytochrome P450 enzymes. That study was recently published in Drug Metabolism Letters. While in San Diego, Stevens-Truss directed a teaching workshop for middle school and high school science teachers in the San Diego area. Her innovation in development of the workshop has drawn increasing numbers of teachers to the workshop and provided a new platform for scientists to collaborate with and mentor the nation’s secondary school science teachers.

The workshop was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Next year’s meeting will be in Boston, and Stevens-Truss and Furge plan to attend with another group of students. Stevens-Truss will also lead another teaching workshop there.

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