Bryn Mawr Biology Students Present, Win Honors at Undergrad Bio and Chem Research Symposium

Posted November 18th, 2010 at 1:25 pm.

Five Bryn Mawr students recently participated and three took prizes in the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Seniors Sara Marlow, Joanna Barkas, Amelie Raz, Emily Bergbower, and Alyssa Gagne spent Oct. 30 presenting their research in two poster sessions, during which they were judged by a panel of participating research mentors and other attendees of the symposium. Raz’ presentaion earned a first- place ranking, while Gagne and Marlow each received a second-place ranking.

Now in its 13th year, the symposium, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, attracts more than 400 undergraduate students and mentors from around the mid-Atlantic region, with research focusing on all areas of chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. The purpose of the symposium is to foster communication of the latest relevant novel results and concepts, with the understanding that progress at the interface of chemistry and biology requires cross-fertilization from the broadest possible spectrum of disciplines.

Barkas, who presented “The Role of Capicua in Terminal & Dorsal-Ventral Patterning in the Pea Aphid,” called the experience of the symposium “a great way to have the opportunity to talk to other professors and students who were interested in my work or who were working on similar projects.”

Raz concurred: “We met several students doing some fascinating research, allowing us to compare notes about experiences as students at very different types of colleges and return to our lab with a  sharpened understanding of how we can improve our own lab experiences.”

Raz took first place in the Biological Sciences 3 category with a research presentation titled “Epigenetic Consequences of Sexual vs. Asexual Development in the Pea Aphid.” Bryn Mawr biologists Gregory Davis and Tamara Davis of the Bryn Mawr Biology Department served as her mentors.

Gagne’s “Analysis of Differential DNA Methylation Acquisition at the DLK1-DMR in Mouse,” a project supervised by Tamara Davis, placed second in the Biological Sciences 4 category. Marlow, who placed second in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3 category, presented “An Investigation of Histone Modification in RASGRF1 in Mouse,” another project mentored by Tamara Davis.

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