CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) is a neuropeptide with functions in behaviors such as food intake, body weight maintenance, and reward. The aim of this research project is to elucidate the in vivo dynamics of the expression, release, transport and receptor localization of the CART peptide. We plan to accomplish this through four main steps, using Split GFP as a reporter of CART localization. First, we will generate plasmid reagents that will enable an inducible cart-gfp11 (hs-gfp-11) and a ubiquitously-expressed gfp1-10 (actin-gfp1-10). Second, we will test the functionality of the hs-cart-gfp11 via established behavioral assays. Third, we will create transgenic zebrafish for the hs-cart-gfp11 and actin-gfp1-10 construct,confirm their fluorescence in transiently-transgenic larvae, and generate stable lines for these transgenes. Finally, we will generate reagents for genome editing via CRISPR or TALEN technologies to introduce the gfp11 label to the CART gene on its endogenous locus. Taken together, these experiments will elucidate the dynamics of CART signaling in the context of a living, functioning brain.
Andrew Becker, Biochemistry '13, announced as the current The John Bernard Scholar. Andrew is among the 2013 Phi Kappa Phi Presidential Scholar Award Winners.
The awards are made to students achieving the highest level of academic performance combined with exceptional depth and breadth of interest and outstanding community service. Andrew is the Director of Internal Communications for the Senior Class Cabinet, President of the Pre-Medical Society, President of the Diabetes Awareness Club, and a Group Leader for Ithaca College’s Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society. Andrew also serves as a Teaching Assistant and Academic Enrichment Services tutor at Ithaca College for chemistry courses.
Sarah Rabice, Biochemisty ’13 (Andy Smith), “Glue from the Slug Arion subfuscus”. The 67th Annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference, Providence College
- Won a best presentation award for the Biochemistry section.
Andrew Becker (Biochemistry '14) is recipient of this academic year Jason Dickens Memorial Book Award as well as the Chemistry Book Award. Andrew began at IC as a Biology major. During his sophomore year he changed to Biochemistry and is currently a senior whom is succeeding with this IC experiences and studies.
James Whalen Symposium Presentation Winners:
Andrew Becker (Biochemistry ’14). Oral Presentation. A New Method for the Synthesis of Organic Polymer Bone Scaffolds (Michael Haaf)
Joshua Messinger (Biochemistry ’14). Poster Presentation. I Can Grow There Too: Survey of Host Species Specific Growth of Chlamydia (David Gondek)
- Stefan Haugen, Biochemistry ’13, received funding from EGI to support his summer '12 research project, "Host-Pathogen relationship in fresh water amoeba”, with David Gondek.
Rachel Noyes, Biochemistry ’13, received funding from the EGI and the Ithaca Fund to help support her Spring research project with Ian Woods, "Molecular Mechanisms of Somatosensory Development and Function"
DeAsia Gilmer is recipient of this year’s Thomas Morrin Jones Memorial Scholarship. DeAsia began at IC in Chemistry. During her sophomore year she changed to Biochemistry and is in her senior year. She has successfully completed many challenging science courses and maintains a high GPA.
Student Off-campus Presentations:
- Rachel Noyes (Biochemistry '13), David Burgess, PhD. Poster Presentation. "Micromere cell membranes in Lytechinus pictus embryos have distinct properties". 2011 SACNAS National Conference in San Jose, CA.
Rachel was in a REU (research experience for undergraduates) and the MBL (marine biological laboratories) program at Woods Hole, MA. Her advisor was David Burgess.
Developing embryos undergo numerous cell divisions following distinct differentiation pathways before maturing into complex organisms. In sea urchins beginning as early as the fourth division specialization occurs in the vegetal cells as an unequal division gives birth to macromeres and micromeres. These micromeres lose adhesion, migrate inside of the blastula, and give rise to the larval skeleton and germ cells. They have been found to vary from other cells of the embryo in more than just size and transcriptome though. Others have noted that these micromeres generally lack microvilli. Since microvillar membranes found on the apical surfaces of epithelial cells contain lipid rafts rich in gangliosides and cholesterol, we questioned whether membranes of micromeres lack such lipids. Using spinning disc confocal microscopy we observed the presence of gangliosides through use of fluorescent cholera toxin B in fixed and in live dissociated blastomeres giving birth to micromeres. In fixed blastomeres, the presence of an even actin rich cortex was observed on all cells by the use of fluorescent phalloidin. In contrast to the even distribution of actin, the cell membranes in micromeres were found to lack cholesterol rich lipid rafts observed on all other cells of the embryo likely due to the loss of apical membrane components caused by the unique division that leads to these cells. The process of cell division, where new membrane is delivered via exocytosis, may result in micromeres lacking “apical” cell surfaces found in the cells of the blastula.
- Adam Longwich, Biochemistry '13, presented his research on Saturday October 29th, 2011 in an oral session at the Rochester Academy of Sciences annual fall meeting hosted by Monroe Community College. His presentation entitled "Molecular Phylogenetic Reconstruction of the Neotropical Cucumber Genus Gurania" described his ongoing research under the supervision of Susan Swensen in the Biology Department. Adam was a recipient of a research grant from the Rochester Academy of Sciences in spring 2011.
- Adam Longwich, Biochemistry ’13, received support for his research project on: "Exploring the low copy s/t phos gene" with Susan Swensen.
Fred Kastenbaum PreHealth Award recipients:
- Philip Feinberg, Biochemistry ‘11. After experiencing the excitement of research, he quickly realized that medicine alone would not be enough. Phil hopes to attend a MD/PhD program so he can become a medical researcher. Currently his greatest scientific and medical interest is the role that microRNAs play in the development and progression of cancer. As a MD/PhD, he would like to have a lab that looks to understand how microRNA deregulation results in cancer, and design novel therapeutics that could be used in the treatment of cancer. He would like to specialize in oncology and work to treat patients with various forms of cancer, while his lab works to identify potential drug targets.
- DeAsia Gilmer, Biochemistry/Psychology ‘12. DeAsia’s career goal is to become a neurosurgeon at a hospital in Baltimore, MD. She has always wanted to become a doctor ever since she was a child because she has always been amazed at how the nervous system works. She continues to be intrigued at how the tiny, cellular and molecular processes that occur in the nervous system, control the complex actions and behaviors that we perform. She wants to become a doctor in order to help people with neurological disorders overcome their disease and maintain the best quality of life they can. DeAsia has recently begun volunteering at Cayuga Medical Center as a Patient Advocate with the Customer Relations department. In this position, she works closely with nursing staff to provide patients in the Emergency Department with the best quality stay by maximizing communication between staff and patients and providing comfort and support to patients and their families.
Adam Longwich ('13) has received a research grant from two sources to support his research with Susan Swensen.
- The Rochester Academy of Science is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing its members and the community with a means to study and learn about astronomy, anthropology, the life sciences, minerals, and fossils.
- The H&S Educational Grant Initiative supports activities and projects that promote student learning and achievement. Generous donations from Ithaca College alumni to the Ithaca Fund for H&S provide the funding for this program.
Adam's project is a evolutionary genetic analysis of a group of plants in the genus Gurania that belong to the pumpkin family. These plants are flowering Neotropical vines that are found in Central and South America. Early in their life, the vines produce male flowers and climb up into the canopy. Once they reach a certain size, the vines begin to produce female flowers in pendulous inflourescences that are visited by hummingbirds and butterflies. They also serve as hosts to fruit flies in the genus Blepharoneura where as many as seven different species of flies may parasitize a single species of Gurania. Currently, there is no clear picture of evolutionary relationships in this group of plants. Adam is working to decipher these relationships using DNA sequences from the chloroplast genome.
Philip Feinberg (Biochemistry '13) has received an award from Sigma Xi to help support his travel to attend the Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, DC where he will present his research under the guideance of Jean Hardwick.
Phi Kappa Phi: Biochemistry Initiates
- Cole Lechleiter
- Matt Zeitler
Paulen A. Smith Chapter of Sigma Xi: Biochemistry Inductees
- Jason Diaz, Associate Member
- Eric Van Fleet, Associate Member
The Campus Life Award is given each year to a select group of graduating seniors in order to recognize their outstanding contributions to the Ithaca College community through participation and involvement in campus life. In order to be nominated for this prestigious award, students must have been extensively involved in a number of areas of campus life and have demonstrated significant leadership abilities and accomplishments.
Biochemistry recipients of the 2009-2010 Campus Life Awards include:
- Shanique Edwards, Biochemistry/French, School of Humanities and Sciences
- Cole Lechleiter, Biochemistry, School of Humanities and Sciences
- Matthew Zeitler, Biochemistry, School of Humanities and Sciences
Daniel Wald is among the 10 IC recipients of the Campus Life Award. The Campus Life Award is given each year to a select group of graduating seniors in order to recognize their outstanding contributions to the Ithaca College community through participation and involvement in campus life. Over the years this award has become a coveted goal and valued honor. In order to be nominated for this prestigious award, students must have been extensively involved in a number of areas of campus life and have demonstrated significant leadership abilities and accomplishments.
Phi Kappa Phi inductees must be of good character and possess notable academic achievements. To qualify for membership, juniors must be in the upper 5 percent of their class and maintain a 3.7 grade point average; seniors must maintain a 3.6 grade point average and be in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class; graduate and professional students must rank in the upper 10 percent of all graduate and professional students currently enrolled and have been registered for at least two semesters. The seniors inducted this year have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or better; the juniors, 3.8 or better and the graduate students, 3.9 or better.
The Biochemistry student inductee is:
- Cole Lechleiter (Biochemistry '10)
Students and Faculty Inducted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Ten students and four faculty members were inducted into Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, on April 29. The students and faculty were elected to membership because of their research achievements or potential. The following are from the Biology Department and Biochemistry program:
Students, their majors, and faculty sponsors:
- Jason Diaz, biochemistry (Professor Marina Caillaud)
- Allison E. Girasole, biology (Professor Jean Hardwick)
- Lauren A. Houdek, biology (Professor Jean Hardwick)
- Eric Van Fleet, biochemistry (Professor Marina Caillaud)
Congratulations to the first year student Dean's List recipients:
- Yu Yu Chan (Biochemistry)
- Nathaniel Hedlt (Biochemistry)
Colleen O'Loughlin is one of the two to recive the C. P. Snow Scholar Award. The Award recognizes a high-achieving student "who has successfully combined scientific and humanistic studies at Ithaca College." Colleen has served as president of the Ithaca College Chemistry Club, and worked as a teaching assistant during the spring 2008 semester for the new interdisciplinary course, Chemistry and Art, co-taught by art history professor Gary Wells and Michael Haaf, associate professor of chemistry. View the Intercom story here.
First Year Student Dean's List Recipients
- Melaine Braun
- Emmeline Capel
- Dennis Feliciano
Caitlin Baran and Dan Wald (both Biochemistry students) are among the recipients of the 2008 Peggy R. Williams award, provided by The Center for Student Leadership & Involvement. All the students nominated must be juniors or seniors and meet multiple requirements. A selection committee meets to deliberate on the applications of each of the students and selects the ones they feel most aptly represent the spirit of the award.