September 3, 2014
Franklin 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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