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USciences Shines on Research Day

By Brian Kirschner

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For the past 12 years, the annual Research Day at USciences has been a showcase for undergraduate and graduate student research efforts and highlights of faculty activities. The amount and depth of work presented continues to grow each year with over 210 posters on display this year. Most impressively, the research extends to all disciplines of the University.

The day is also a time to invite a distinguished individual to campus for the 27th annual John C. Krantz, Jr., Distinguished Lecture. This year, alumnus Dr. MICHAEL S. WOLFE C’84, a neurology expert at Harvard Medical School, delivered “Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease and the Road to Therapeutics.” As an added bonus the night before Research Day, Dr. Wolfe’s wife, JANET WOLFE C’85, PhD, president and founder of Wolfe Laboratories, Inc., presented a special lecture on “Entrepreneurialism and the Sciences,” discussing the relationship between business and the science industries.

Add undergraduate podium lectures and the annual faculty and student research awards, and it’s certainly a day that lives up to its title. For more on Research Day, click here.

wolfe's research

Blood sensors—development of biosensors for the measurement of Factor Xa and thrombin concentrations in blood:

stewartUnder the direction of PETER BERGET, PhD, chair of biological sciences, ASHLEY STEWART MB’15 designed biosensors in order to help doctors know if appropriate doses of anticoagulants are being given to reduce the risk of both blood clots and uncontrolled bleeding. Stewart was named one of 15 recipients of the UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award for 2014–15.

Synthesis and characterization of molybdenum alkynecomplexes and their reactions:

westJOSEPH BECICA C’14 synthesized new compounds of tungsten and molybdenum under the direction of NATHAN WEST, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry. X-ray crystallographic and nuclear magnetic resonance studies of these compounds illustrated a rare metal-ligand multiple bonding structure. Becica will be doing an internship at Lund University in Sweden this summer.

CXCR4 gradient sensing drives ERK to invadopodia in metastatic breast cancer:

mooreOngoing research in the lab of CATHERINE C. MOORE, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, focuses on the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and the Arf6 pathway. The research work presented by JACQUELINE FREED PhD’14 provides insight into the role of a novel CXCR4-Arf6 pathway that drives ERK to invasive structures and supports the model that ERK localization is critical to the mechanism of CXCR4 dysregulation in metastatic cancer cells. This study was supported by an NIH grant (#GM097718).

The impact of individualized balance training exercises on falls risk and overall function in community-dwelling older adults:

curranBalance issues are the leading cause of falls in older adults. A study by ALYSSA CURRAN DPT’14, ALLISON MORRISON DPT’14, TARA PITTS DPT’14, and JESSICA RUBNITZ DPT’14 under the direction of CAROL MARITZ, PT, EdD, GCS, professor of physical therapy, developed and implemented a balance training exercise program for older adults. Following participation in the program, significant improvements were noted in lower body strength, balance, confidence, and functional mobility, all of which decrease the risk factors associated with falls in the older population.

2014 Research Day/Krantz Lecture  View photos on flickr »


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