At Summer Research Day, students presented posters on topics including cancer, virulence factors, cigarette-related studies, infectious diseases and obesity.
Students Showcase Summer 2015 Projects on Research Day
October 6, 2015
Ninety-five student-scientists presented projects during the
2015 Buffalo Summer Research Day, an interdisciplinary forum
marking the culmination of their summer research in Buffalo.
The undergraduate and graduate students worked with mentors from
the University at Buffalo and partner institutions to explore
cancer, virulence factors, cigarette-related studies, infectious
diseases, obesity and other areas.
Expert on Human Genomics Presents Keynote Address
J. Nowak, PhD, an internationally recognized human genomics
researcher, presented “Catching the Future: Your Genome and
Your Health,” the keynote address.
Nowak is a professor of biochemistry and executive
director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in
Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. Her research has contributed
directly to the Human Genome Project and genomic-based approaches
to understanding heritable disorders and cancer.
Nowak, who has co-authored more than 145 research articles, is
developing approaches to understanding and using information
encoded in the genome to improve patient care, disease treatment
She is the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire
Genomics LLC, a molecular diagnostics company employing novel tools
to diagnose genetic disease and enable personalized medicine
— treatments based on a patient’s genetic
Displaying Posters, Giving Oral Presentations
During the forum, students from various summer research programs
participated in a poster expo. One student from each program was
selected to deliver an oral presentation.
The following are research projects for the summer programs
involving the Jacobs School of
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)
- Megan Brewster presented “Investigation of the
Coexistence of Pol IV and HDA on the Beta Sliding
Sutton, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry,
- Jose A. Cruz-Arazon worked on “Characterization of an
Rpf2 Homolog and Its Association with the Pre-Ribosomal Complex in
Trypanosoma brucei.” Noreen
Williams, PhD, professor of microbiology and
immunology, mentored Cruz-Arazon.
- Megan Heaney presented “Identification of a Novel Post
Translational Modification of BAF.” Wilma
A. Hofmann, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and
biophysics, mentored Heaney.
- Andy Le presented “Glycosylation of Myelin Protein Zero
and Unfolded Protein Response in P0T124M Cells.” Lawrence
Wrabetz, MD, UB Distinguished Professor of neurology,
- Megan Mendenhall presented “Acinetobacter baumannii and
the Organization of Type IV Pili.” Anthony
A. Campagnari, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology,
- Matthew Rice presented “Toward the Characterization of
Aerobactin Biosynthetic Enzymes in Hypervirulent Klebsiella
M. Gulick, PhD, research assistant professor of structural
biology, mentored Rice.
- Justin Stec presented “Novel Expression Patterns of
Coronin-1 in HIV and Cryptococcus Infected
Jacobs, PhD, research assistant professor of microbiology and
immunology, mentored Stec.
program is directed by Terry
D. Connell, PhD, who is responsible for coordinating the
Buffalo Summer Research Day. Connell is a professor of microbiology
T35 Research Program in Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Immunology
- Remon Bebawee presented “Dual IgA Protease Expression by
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae During Carriage in Adults With
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).” Timothy
F. Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and
translational research and SUNY Distinguished Professor
- Jeffrey Bulger presented “Evaluation of a Potential
Virulence Factor in Hypervirulent Klebsiella
A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division
of Infectious Diseases, mentored Bulger.
- Bryan Bunnell presented “Zinc Inhibits Multiple
Aspects of the SOS Response in Escherichia coli.” John
K. Crane, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, mentored
- Joseph Iluore presented “Infection Induced Thymic
Atrophy Affects Development of T Regulatory Cells.” Elizabeth
A. Wohlfert, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and
immunology, mentored Iluore.
- Shanté White presented “Analysis of a Novel
Treatment for Orthopedic-Related Infections.” Anthony
A. Campagnari, PhD, professor of microbiology and
immunology, mentored White.
program is co-directed by Murphy and Kelvin
P. Lee, MD, academic scholar in the department of
Summer Apprentice Program, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
- Jacob Canavan presented “Interaction Between MbtH-Like
Proteins and Enzymes in NRPS Pathways.” Andrew
M. Gulick, PhD, research assistant professor of structural
biology, mentored Canavan.
- John Scaduto presented “The Analysis of Ubiquitous
L. Duax, PhD, professor of structural biology, mentored
- Lauren Yacobucci presented “Fenamate Class NSAIDs Induce
Cell Death in LNCaP Prostate Cancer Cells Independent of COX-2
G. Malkowski, PhD, interim chair and professor of structural
biology, mentored Yacobucci.
Jane F. Griffin, PhD, coordinates the summer
program at Hauptman-Woodward Institute.
BioXFEL Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (BSURE)
- Gabriela Casanova Sepulveda presented “Conformational
Analysis of Cold Shock Protein at Different Temperatures Using SAXS
and Crystallography.” Thomas Grant, PhD, scientific
programmer in the Department
of Structural Biology, mentored Casanova Sepulveda.
- Reinaldo Hernandez Soto presented “Optimization of
Phospholipid Bilayer Nanodiscs for Use in Single Particle Imaging
Studies.” Bill Bauer, PhD, of the Department of
Structural Biology, mentored Hernandez Soto.
- Fiacre Kabayiza presented “Effect of X-ray Radiation
Damage on Structural Determination of Xylose Isomerase.”
Bauer mentored Hernandez Soto.
Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences Undergraduate Program (CLIMB UP)
UP is a summer research program that gives undergraduates
hands-on laboratory experience in biomedical and health
sciences. Ten students had projects funded through the American
Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellowship:
- Yiran An presented “The Role of P38γ MAP Kinase
During Myelination.” M.
Laura Feltri, MD, professor of biochemistry,
- Laura Baratta presented “The Role of Activin Receptor 2a
in Cocaine Self-Administration.” David
Dietz, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and
toxicology, mentored Baratta.
- Maisa De Sousa Dos Santos presented “Longitudinal
Assessment of Occupational Exposure to Profenofos in Adolescent
Egyptian Agriculture Workers.” James
R. Olson, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor of pharmacology and
toxicology, mentored De Sousa Dos Santos.
- Christian Dohring presented “Novel Inhibitors of
Monocarboxylate Transporter (MCT1) in the Murine Breast Cancer 4T1
Cell Line.” Marilyn Morris, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical
sciences, mentored Dohring.
- Rebecca Lee presented “Characterization of Novel Estrogen
Ligands From Pueraria Lobata.” Rajendram
Rajnarayanan, PhD, research assistant professor
of pharmacology and toxicology, mentored Lee.
- Dian Lin presented “Phthalate Esters Target BRCA Binding
Site on Human Estrogen Receptors and Modulate ER
Activity.” Rajnarayanan mentored Lin.
- Emily Marra presented “Loss of Xbp1 Decreases
Long-Term Retinal Cell Survival.” Sarah
X. Zhang, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology,
- Kendrique Morgan presented “Design and Synthesis of Novel
Anti-Cancer Agents Targeting Human Estrogen
Receptor.” Rajnarayanan mentored Morgan.
- Lindsay Robinson presented “Selective Enhancement of
Imidazoline I2 Receptor Agonist 2-BFI-Induced Antinociception by
Opioids with Varying Efficacy.” Jun-Xu
Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and
toxicology, mentored Robinson.
- Kaliana Veros presented “The Role of Carbamate
Insecticides on Human MT1 and MT2 Melatonin Receptor
L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of
pharmacology and toxicology and senior associate dean for inclusion
and cultural enhancement, mentored Veros.
Fifteen students had projects funded by the Institute
for Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity Summer Research
- Kaleish Ambris presented “Improvement in Markers of Lipid
Metabolism in Skeletal Muscle From Offspring of Dietary-Induced
Obese Dams That Underwent Treadmill Exercise Training.” David
Williamson, PhD, assistant professor of exercise and nutrition
sciences, mentored Ambris.
- Stacie Arechavala presented “Surface Optimization of
3D Printed Vascular Phantoms for Parametric Imaging Software
N. Ionita, PhD, research assistant professor of biomedical
engineering, mentored Arechavala.
- Brett Blizard presented “Fabrication and Transfer of
Large Area Monolayer MoS2.” Hao Zeng, PhD, professor of
physics mentored Blizard.
- Karla Boeta-Lopez presented “The Role of Calcium in
CaMKK2 Mediated Akt Activation.” Arthur
M. Edelman, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and
toxicology, mentored Boeta-Lopez.
- Christine Breindel presented “Screening for Candida
albicans Genes Involved in Cellular Adhesion and Virulence.”
Mira Edgerton, PhD, DDS, research professor of oral biology,
- Gabriel Kelly presented “Air Sense: A Portable Ambient
Monitoring Device with Android.” Wenyao Xu, PhD, assistant
professor of computer science and engineering, mentored Kelly.
- Jacob Khuri presented “Association Between Parental and
Child Obesity — Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”
Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
— Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, professor, and Jungwon Min, PhD,
research scientist — mentored Khuri.
- B. Erika Luis Sanchez presented “Social Play in
Vasopressin-Deficient Brattleboro Rats.” Matthew Paul, PhD,
assistant professor of psychology, mentored Luis Sanchez.
- Christina Moore presented “Evaluation of RCT: Cognitive
Behavior Therapy for Insomnia in Lung Cancer.” Grace Dean,
PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing, and Suzanne Dickerson,
DNS, RN, chair for biobehavioral health and clinical sciences
and professor of nursing, mentored Moore.
- Benita Okeke presented “Effects of Drug Loading on
Antibody Pharmacokinetics.” Dhaval Shah, PhD, assistant
professor of pharmaceutical sciences, mentored Okeke.
- Janet Park presented “Understanding the Relationship
Between Rab 5 GTPase and Protein Sorting Nexin 8 in
Phagocytosis.” Jason Kay, PhD, assistant professor of oral
biology, mentored Park.
- Elizabeth Penner presented “Function Divergence of
Orc4 and Rif2 in Yeast Model Kluyveromyces lactis.” Laura
Rusche, PhD, mentored Penner.
- Yaritza Velez Burgos presented “Nanocages as a Novel
Scaffold for Peptide Display.” Juliane Nguyen, PharmD,
PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, mentored
- Natalie Weimer presented “Exploring Factors
Associated with Harmful Behaviors in the Transgender
Community.” Adrian Juarez, PhD, RN, assistant professor of
nursing, mentored Weimer.
- Rashaun Williams presented “Effect of Hydration on Food
Intake in Adults.” Jennifer Temple, PhD, associate
professor of exercise and nutrition sciences, mentored
Six students were involved with CLIMB-PRO,
a division of CLIMB-UP for undergraduates interested in pursuing a
medical degree or MD/PhD:
- Aaliyah Gibbons presented “Impact of Subjective
Well-Being on Mentally Ill Inmates.” Daniel
Antonius, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry
and director of the Division
of Forensic Psychiatry, mentored Gibbons.
- Aliyah Glover presented “Maternal Smoking in Lactation
Increases Infant Weight-for-Length Gain.” Xiaozhong
Wen, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, mentored
- Aswad Jackson presented “The Novel Mechanism of Oxidative
Stress in Fatty Livers.” Lixin
Zhu, PhD, research assistant professor of pediatrics,
- Courtney Mangum presented “Neuroprotective Role of
Galectin-1 on the Neuropathogenesis of HIV-1.” Supriya
D. Mahajan, MD, PhD, research associate professor of medicine,
- Jacob Milling presented “Exploring the Patient
Perspective on Self-Management of Chronic Diseases and the
Patient-Physician Relationship.” Laurene
M. Tumiel Berhalter, PhD, associate professor of family
medicine, mentored Milling.
- Angelica Rivera Rosa presented “The Fibrogenic Function
of sFRP2 is Cell Type Restricted.” Te-Chung
Lee, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry,
mentored Rivera Rosa.
CLIMB-UP and its associated programs are part of
program, directed by Margarita
L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of
and toxicology and senior associate dean for inclusion and
Dental Medicine, Roswell Students Participated
The July 31 event included 26 students from Roswell Park Cancer
Institute’s Summer Research Experience Program in Cancer
Science and 17 students from the UB School of Dental
Medicine’s Student Research Program.
Undergraduates — with mentors in the departments of
biological sciences, chemistry and oral biology — also