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Twenty-two Lafayette students will present research papers with their biology faculty mentors at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science April 8-10 at the Radisson Hotel, Camp Hill, Pa.

Two groups of students conducted research involving fruit flies under the mentoring of Elaine Reynolds, associate professor of biology and chair of neuroscience. Neuroscience major Kristen Balsamo ’05 (Little Ferry, N.J.), and biology major Kelly Brady ’05 (Brick, N.J.) studied the regions of fruit flies’ brains that create seizures in “Exploration of brain regions involved in bang-sensitive behavior in Drosophila melanogaster.”Biology majorLisa Cosenza ’05 (Morristown, N.J.) and neuroscience major Erin Wolfson ’05 (Haddonfield, N.J.) researched the life span of mutant fruit flies when given antiepileptic drugs in “The effects of antiepileptic drugs on lifespan and neurodegeneration of bang-sensitive mutants of Drosophila melanogaster.”

Five students did cancer-related research involving the protein CCL-5, also called RANTES, under Robert Kurt, assistant professor of biology: Biology major James Lepre ’05 (Carbondale, Pa.), “Analysis of the T-cell receptor variability at a tumor site and determining CCL-5’s role in the clonality of these T-cells;” biology major Michelle Marinucci ’05 (Cinnaminson, N.J.), “Association of CD3 and CCR5 in the Presence of CCL5 with Lipid Raft Formation;” Charles Lemken ’06 (Emerson, N.J.), “The transcription program of T lymphocytes exposed to CCL5 (RANTES);” neuroscience major McKenzie Wells ’05 (Vienna, Va.), “Association of Lck with Lipid Rafts in T Cells Exposed to RANTES;” and neuroscience major Kathryn Rose ’06 (Wyckoff, N.J.), “Effects of RANTES on the Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor Vav.”

Two groups of biology majors conducted cancer-related research studying the effects of the drug Glevec under Shyamal K. Majumdar, Kreider Professor of Biology. Benjamin Hoffman ’05 (Marlton, N.J.), Katherine Schule ’05 (Pearl River, N.Y.), Nicholas Fotiadis ’05 (Port Murray, N.J.), and I-Lee Hwa ’06 (Buck Hill Falls, Pa.) will present “Apoptotic Induction of Murine Erythroleukemic Cell Death Exposed to Gleevec,” and Melissa Kirk ’05 (Easton, Conn.), Fotiadis, and Hwa will present “The Cytotoxic and Cytogenetic Effects of Gleevec on Murine Erythroleukemic GM-86 Cells.”

Biology majors Erin Brune ’05 (Pasadena, Calif.) and Marinucci both did research involving turtles under the mentoring of James Dearworth, assistant professor of biology. Brune studied “The Consensual Pupillary Light Response in the Turtle,” while Marinucci analyzed “Density of Retinal Oil Droplets in the Red-Eared Slider Turtle.”

Four students conducted bacterial research under Laurie Caslake, assistant professor of biology: biology major Nicole Prestiano ’06 (Ansonia, Conn.), “merA polymorphisms in bacteria from a mercury-laden lake;” neuroscience major Stephanie Giordano ’05 (Blauvelt, N.Y.), “Analysis of antibiotic and mercury resistance in environmental bacterial isolates;” biology major Gillian Breslin ’05 (Brookline, Mass.), “Genetic diversity of Flavobacterium columnare as assessed by gyrB sequence;” and civil engineering major Blaire Banagan ’05 (Delmar, N.Y.), “A box model to test sand strength after the addition of bacteria.”

Biology major Kathryn Sayles ’05 (West Chester, Pa.) studied “Macroinvertebrate community characteristics above and below a New Jersey reservoir: Impacts and sampling techniques” under Nancy M. Waters, associate professor of biology.

Biochemistry major Sharon Bandstra ’06 (Midland Park, N.J.) researched the effects of flatworm larva infections on lipids of a particular kind of freshwater snails under Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, in her paper, “Effects of Echinostoma caproni larval Trematode infection on lipids in Biomphalaria glabrata snails.”

Biology major Megan Fromuth ’06 (Royersford, Pa.) analyzed “Pathological manifestations of naturally acquired lungworm infections in opossums” with Dr. Jane Huffman, undergraduate coordinator and professor of biological sciences at East Stroudsburg University.

A national leader in undergraduate research, Lafayette also sends one of the largest contingents to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Thirty-nine Lafayette students have been accepted to present on their scholarly research at the next annual meeting April 20-23. This is Lafayette’s 18th year of participation in NCUR and more than 500 students have been accepted to present their research, with an average of more than 30 students per year over the last decade.

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