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Franklin Pierce University Students and Faculty Present at INBRE’s Annual Meeting

September 3, 2014

image textFranklin Pierce University Biology Professors Amy Piispanen and Susan Arruda, along with four Franklin Pierce University students, attended the NH IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Annual Meeting in August. INBRE gives professors and undergraduate students access to outstanding research opportunities in the biomedical field.

Dr. Piispanen is receiving research training funds for her work in understanding the molecular mechanisms of morphogenesis in Candida albicans. Dr. Arruda's collaborative project, “Characterizing a novel G protein-coupled receptor in Drosophila vision,” is funded by NH-INBRE and has provided excellent independent research experience for a dozen Franklin Pierce undergraduates.

Student Bailey Blair, who is working under Dr. Piispanen, presented her poster, “The role of STE50 in morphogenesis and pathogenicity of the human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans,” at the Annual Meeting. Dr. Arruda’s researchers, Megan Heaney and Gina Pronzati, presented a poster entitled “Investigation of Rhodopsin Degradation in Drosophila.” The three young scientists have been working in their professors’ labs since May on these independent projects. Kayla Marra, also Dr. Arruda's research student, was selected to give an oral presentation of her work entitled, “Electrophysiology of the CG7918 Phototransduction Mutant in Drosophila,” for which she also gave a poster presentation.

Kayla Marra was subsequently chosen to present her poster from the Annual Meeting to the External Advisory Committee (EAC) of INBRE at its meeting in November. Additionally, Marra was selected for the second time to participate in the iSURF program at Dartmouth, where she conducted research in the laboratory of Patrick Dolph, Ph.D. iSURF is a ten-week summer research experience for undergraduate students that is designed to teach the skills and techniques needed in biomedical jobs and graduate studies.

NH-INBRE is funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop a coordinated network of biomedical research and research training in New Hampshire. Its goal is to increase the biomedical research capacity in the state by supporting research and research training activities of faculty, fellows, and students, and to positively impact the research culture at participating institutions. NH-INBRE aims to identify and fund outstanding biomedical researchers among faculty members so that they can lead research programs that will expose students to exceptional biomedical research.

Photo caption: left to right: Bailey Blair, Gina Pronzati, Megan Heaney, Dr. Susan Arruda, and Kayla Marra of Franklin Pierce University.


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Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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