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Fifteen Lafayette students will present research papers with their biology faculty mentors at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science March 31-April 2 at the Holiday Inn, Grantville, Pa.

Robert Kurt, assistant professor of biology, advised five students in cancer-related research: biology major Mevan Jayasinghe ’08 (Colombo, Sri Lanka), “Inhibition of CCL5 Expression by a Murine Mammary Carcinoma using RNA Interference,” biology major Collin LaCasse ’06 (North Andover, Mass.), “Toll-like Receptor mRNA Receptor Expression in Dendritic Cells from OTII Transgenic Mice,” biology majors Tye Murphy ’06 (Columbia, Md.) and Daniela Simova ’06 (Sofia, Bulgaria), “Effects of CCL5 on Antigen Specific T-Cell Effector Function,” and neuroscience major Kathryn Rose ’06 (Wyckoff, N.J.), “Analysis of Factors that Influence T-Cell-Dendritic Cell Conjugate Formation by Confocal Microscopy.”

Biology majors I-Lee Hwa ’06 (Buck Hill Falls, Pa.), Christopher Sweitzer ’07 (Jackson, N.J.), and Aviva Goel ’08 (Maharashtra, India) also conducted cancer research with Shyamal K. Majumdar, Kreider Professor of Biology. They authored the paper “Growth Inhibition, Cytogenic Effects and Induction of Apoptosis Mediated by Imatinib Mesylate, an Effective Anti-Leukemia Drug in Human Cervical Carcinoma (HeLa) Cells.”

Two biology majors conducted studies of the eye under the guidance of James Dearworth, assistant professor of biology. Tory Littlefield ’06 (Duxbury, Mass.) studied turtles for “The Pupillary Response to Light in the Enucleated Eye of the Turtle.” Corry Marcincin ’06 (Bethlehem, Pa.) completed “Computer Image Analysis of Retinal Oil Droplets in Different Vertebrate Species.”

Two students conducted bacterial research under Laurie Caslake, assistant professor of biology: biology major Alexandra Schmidt ’07 (East Brunswick, N.J.), “Analysis of the cslAgene, encoding chondroitin AC lyase, from Flavobacterium columnare isolates,” and biology major Colleen Walsh ’06 (Manasquan, N.J.), “Conjugal transfer of antibiotic resistance from environmental isolates.”

Biology majors Lisa Fung-Kee-Fung ’06 (Westmoorings, Trinidad) and Philippe Vanier ’07 (Rolling Hills, Calif.) collaborated with Lorraine Mineo, lecturer in biology and laboratory coordinator, to study invasive, non-native plant species. They produced the paper “Allelopathic Potential of the Invasive Alien, Rosa multiflora.”

Marquis Scholar Meredith White ’06 (Andover, Mass.), a biochemistry major, researched dormancy’s effects on snails infected with parasites under the guidance of Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, in her paper “The effects of estivation on the survival and lipid composition of Biomphalaria glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni.”

A national leader in undergraduate research, Lafayette also sends one of the largest contingents to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research each year. Thirty-nine students were accepted to present their research at last year’s conference.

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