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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

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Alumni Lauren Sakowski graduated from the Mount in 2009 and is currently working on her PhD. in neuroscience at the University of Delaware. Ms. Sakowski is currently a graduate research assistant at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in the Department of Biomedical Research also works in the Neurogenetics Research Laboratory, characterizing a new mouse model of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease and working on pre-clinical trials to treat inflammation. She has created a blog called NeurocultureBlog to review "recent publications in neuroscience, mainly neurodegenerative disesase, and grad school life." Read about her experience and new pressing issues by clicking the link below and checking out Lauren's blog! The School of Natural Science and Mathematics want to congratulate Lauren in her success and wish his luck in the future.


This summer, Christopher Bradley, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, presented undergraduate research conducted by John Andjaba, C’16, at the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Sapporo, Japan. Dr. Bradley was the only presenter from an undergraduate university in the United States at the conference, which hosted world leaders in the field of inorganic chemistry.

Andjaba described this research experience as one of the most rewarding parts of his undergraduate career. “It is definitely challenging and a big time commitment, but the amount of knowledge and experience acquired is fantastic,” said Andjaba. “To know that our research is being shared with the global community is a mind-blowing idea, because other individuals can learn from and utilize the research that we conduct.”

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Ariel Wirchnianski, C’13, is part of a team of international scientists whose research on a deadly virus similar to Ebola could help save thousands of lives. The deadly fever infection is called Lassa and is found primarily in West Africa. It causes an estimated 100,000 deaths annually and in March 2014 was diagnosed in an individual in the U.S. Wirchnianski works in the virology lab at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.

Wirchnianski, along with three other team members studied the way Lassa virus infects healthy cells. They discovered the virus uses a two-step process when attacking the healthy cells. Their work confirmed similar studies by scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Kiel in Germany and their findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Science.

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Over 40 8th grade students from the Mother Seton School travelled to Mount Saint Mary's to enjoy a day of science. The SNSM supported this day by providing activities for the students to participate in that would expand their knowledge into the world of science. Both students and faculty contributed to this learning experience by holding presentations and experiments for the 8th graders. The students learned about polymers, bones and muscles, and even had the opportunity to create GAK which is a cross between putty and jell-o. The students also learned about the profession of psychology from our very own psychology professors.

Our wish is that the students enjoyed their day of science and we hope to host the Mother Seton School students again in the future!

Five Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP) awards were given to students for Summer 2014. This award allows students to work with a faculty member on a project during the summer months. Following the completion of their project, the student must present their research at the SPARC Festival the following academic year or at an off-campus conference. Students are also required to write a reflection on their summer research project, which will be submitted to the Dean. The following students received an award and they have been paired with a faculty mentor:

Dahyana Arias - Dr. Jen Staiger
Angel Gaona - Dr. Chris Bradley
Christiana Burke - Dr. Dana Ward
TJ Warshel - Dr. Katy Dye
Gregory Fultz - Dr. Dana Ward

This SRIP exists because of several generous benefactors who have made and continue to make donations to this distinctive program. These outstanding alumni, whose names are listed below, feel strongly about "giving back" to the University which blessed them so richly and they recognize the importance of the undergraduate research experience.

Dr. William P. Beierschmitt
Dr. John A. Bruno, Jr.
Dr. Lawrence E. Donato, Jr.
Dr. William R. Gaver
Dr. Daniel G. Muldoon
Mr. J. Anthony Rose
Dr. Mark S. Sobus, PhD, JD
Dr. and Mrs. William Ward, Jr.

Psychology students presented their semester research projects this week in the COAD Science building. Their research topics ranged from Immigrant Label and Terror Management Theory Effects on Attitudes to A Content Analysis of Victoria's Secret Catalogs. These posters will be displayed in the COAD Science building.

Other topics include: Tattoo Placement as a Response to Emotional Events, Helping Behavior Towards Transgender People, and Therapists and Professionals: Who is More Stressed?

Associate Professor of Biology, Dana P. Ward, Ph.D., and Michael Conrad C'14, plan to attend the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting held this month in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Ward and Conrad will present their research on the area of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) while attending the conference. The work done in Dr. Ward's lab has focused on developing a better understanding of the abnormal cell growth in PAH. Conrad will also take part in an undergraduate poster session.

These travel awards given to Dr. Ward and Conrad are nationally competitive from the American Society for Cell Biology.

Nov 2014

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