Ephraim J. Gardner with his research poster.

Ephraim J. Gardner, with his award-winning research poster for his study titled “Investigating Novel Players Involved in AR Cistrome Reprogramming.”

GGB Research Day Showcases Work of Students and Labs

By Dirk Hoffman

Published May 28, 2024

Students and laboratories affiliated with the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics graduate program (GGB) shared their findings during the 10th annual GGB Research Day.


There were 22 participants, with seven delivering oral presentations and 15 presenting a research poster.

Campus cash prizes of $100 were awarded to the best in category in oral presentation and poster presentation.

GGB Program Has Grown Dramatically in Decade

GGB Research Day is an annual event that allows students and postdoctoral researchers at UB the opportunity to show their research, according to Michael Buck, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of the GGB graduate program.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years and the program has grown dramatically; we have faculty from across the university, from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,” he said. “Most of us are here at the Jacobs School, but we also have faculty at Roswell Park. And it is great that we have representation from all of these entities today.”

Buck told attendees of the May 16 event in the Ronald I. Dozoretz, MD ’62 Auditorium and the second-floor atrium of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building, that everyone was encouraged to judge the posters.

“We have official poster judges, but we also want everyone to look at the posters and judge them. We have a sheet that can be filled out, we ask that you list the top two posters,” he said. “When we judge the posters, we will put all those in for consideration for the final awards.”

Bone, Prostate Cancer Studies Take Top Awards

Emily Isenhart, a trainee in the doctoral program in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, was awarded the “Best Oral Presentation Award” for her study titled “Evaluating A Novel Replication Stress Response Targeted Treatment Combination in Ewing Sarcoma.”

Isenhart’s mentors/collaborators include:

  • Ajay Gupta, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School
  • Bryan Gillard, a research associate at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Kristopher M. Atwood, PhD, research assistant professor of biostatistics in UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • JJ Martin, a cancer biology doctoral student at Roswell Park
  • Joyce Ohm, PhD, chair of cancer genetics and genomics at Roswell Park

The “Best Poster Presenter Award” was given to Ephraim J. Gardner, a trainee in the doctoral program in pharmacology and toxicology, for his study titled “Investigating Novel Players Involved in AR Cistrome Reprogramming.”

Gardner is mentored by Remi Adelaiye-Ogala, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Other collaborators on the study were:

The event’s keynote speaker was Rebekah M. Charney, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry, whose topic was “Uncovering the Mechanisms of Birth Defects Associated with the Neural Crest.”

Fund Established for Master’s Students

This year, the GGB graduate program was also able to issue another award, according to Buck.

“We were fortunate enough to receive a donation for the GGB program, to actually help the graduate students, especially the master’s students who are interested in bioinformatics,” he said.

The Raja and Smitha Krishnan, BS ’00, Bioinformatics Precision Medicine Research Assistantship Fund has been established to provide financial assistance to a student who is in good academic standing, has completed their first year of the master of science program in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, and plans to do a research project that relates to next generation sequencing/other relevant methods applied to biomarker discovery/precision medicine.

“The award can be used to support the students’ research or to attend a conference,” Buck said. “Students submitted a research statement and had to get a letter of recommendation from their adviser. We also looked at their grades in bioinformatics courses and their previous transcripts.”

Eshaan S. Deshmukh, the inaugural winner of the assistantship award, had a 3.9 grade point average in his first semester of study, according to Buck.

Deshmukh is conducting research on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the lab of Jamal B. Williams, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry.