Biology Students Take Top Spots at Research Symposium

Posted December 4th, 2014 at 11:42 am.

Biology students

Carolyne Face ’15, Rachel Shields ’15, and Nicole Hamagami ’16

Three students who do research with Biology Chair Tamara Davis took home separate first place awards for poster presentations at the 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences.

Carolyne Face ’15, Rachel Shields ’15, and Nicole Hamagami ’16 were all recognized for the quality of their presentations with first place awards in various categories.

Face’s poster was on “Histone Modification as a Potential Regulator of the Tissue-Specific Imprinting of Rasgrf1.”

Hamagami did an “Analysis of Modified Histone Distribution at the Tissue-Specific Imprinted Rasgrf1 locus Using Allele-Specific QPCR Following Chip.”

Shield’s research focused on an “Analysis of DNA Methylaton at the UDMR Locus of the Imprinted Rasgrf1 in Mouse Embryonic Development.”

In the past 14 years, Davis’ students have regularly presented posters on their research at extramural undergraduate research symposia and international scientific conferences. Of the 28 students who have made extramural presentations of their work, 16 have won awards.

Since Davis’ arrival at Bryn Mawr in January 2000, she has had 52 undergraduate students work in her research lab. Of the students she has supervised, 24 have been co-authors on six of her publications.

Of the 46 students who have worked in Davis’ lab and have graduated from Bryn Mawr College, 87 percent have continued in the life sciences. Fifteen went to graduate school, 16 went to medical school, two went to veterinary school, and eight are currently working as research technicians with the intent to pursue a career as a research scientist or as a medical doctor.

Davis’ former research students have enrolled in graduate school at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others, and in medical school at University of Pennsylvania, Case Western University, Baylor University, and the Virginia Commonwealth University, among others.

Davis and her students do research that focuses on understanding the relationship between chromosome structure and gene expression. The group is particularly interested in imprinted genes, which are expressed from only one of the two inherited alleles (either the maternal copy or the paternal copy is active, while the other copy is silenced). To gain insight into how this unusual form of expression is achieved, Davis and her students examine DNA methylation and histone modification patterns at imprinted genes. For more, visit Davis’ faculty profile page.

For more information about all the various research opportunities in the Biology Department, go here.

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