Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship Provides Undergraduate Students with Hands-on Summer Research Opportunities and More

11:15 a.m., October 5, 2015--NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Joshua Barton has always been fascinated by science. He is currently a Junior Honors student majoring in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience and Medical Scholars (BALS) at University of Delaware. Additionally, Joshua has early acceptance to the MD/PhD program at Jefferson Medical College where he intends to further his studies and become a medical doctor. As one of three recipients of the 2015 Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship (DGBF), Joshua had the unique opportunity this summer to do eye research specifically related to understanding how congenital cataracts happen. Awarded annually, the Governor’s bioscience fellowships support Delaware high school graduates who attend Delaware State University, the University of Delaware or Delaware Technical Community College by funding their research projects. Joshua and his fellow awardees were nominated by their professors to gain hands-on experience in their pursuit of a career in biotechnology while doing a summer research project. DGBF awardee Courtney Shatley is currently a senior enrolled at Delaware Technical and Community College. Her summer project took her away from traditional bench research to studying the means for obtaining relative abundance in environmental samples through bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field of science that combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and to analyze and interpret biological data. Her research could revolutionize environmental sampling protocols. And this year’s Delaware State University DGBF awardee, Andrew Blake is a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA studying Biological Sciences. This past summer his research project involved studying neurological diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson through fruit fly larva. His research project is titled, The Role of Acetylcholine Release in the Control of Locomotor Behavior in Drosophila. Andrew plans to attend medical school following his undergraduate studies. Created in 2006 to develop local talent for employment at biotechnology companies within the state, the fund thus far has helped more than 27 Delaware college students in their pursuit of a career in the growing field of biotechnology. In addition to the research opportunities, DGBF awardees receive mentoring and are exposed to Delaware bioscience industry leaders through extracurricular programs and events. “Through the contributions of Delaware companies to the DGBF fund, we’re able to develop a workforce that consists of the brightest and best bioscience students in Delaware,” explained Vidadi Yusibov, Ph.D., DGBF sponsor and executive director of Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB). “The research experience funded by the fellowships provides these students with hands-on laboratory experience and an opportunity to present the results of their research, thus providing them with excellent preparation for their future careers,” Yusibov noted. “Delaware’s biotechnology and life science sector is an important contributor to the state’s economy,” commented Bob Dayton, president of Delaware BioScience Association. “Having a readily available, well-educated workforce is critical to the growth and competitiveness of Delaware-based bioscience companies.” A luncheon to recognize this year’s Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellows will take place on October 8 at the Hotel du Pont, in Wilmington, Delaware. To register for the luncheon or to learn more about the Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship, visit www.dgbfellowship.org or call Dale Ervin at 302-369-3034.

Student Research - Undergraduates present their work at national Experimental Biology meeting

andersonhannah 8:08 a.m., April 7, 2015--Nine University of Delaware students participating in undergraduate research presented their work last week at the national Experimental Biology meeting, held this year in Boston. Six of the students were among more than 250 from numerous schools who took part in the 19th Undergraduate Poster Competition sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Senior Hannah Anderson received an Honorable Mention Award, one of 20 awards made at the highly competitive annual event. Anderson, who worked with Deni Galileo, associate professor of biological sciences, conducted research on glioblastoma cells in the deadliest form of brain cancer. Her award extends a tradition of excellence established by UD students over the 15 years they have entered the competition. Thomas Rivas, president of the UD student chapter of ASBMB, received an ASBMB undergraduate travel award to the conference. The trip was organized and funded by the UD Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Undergraduate Science Education grant. Four faculty members accompanied the students: Hal White, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of the HHMI program; David Usher, professor of biological sciences and assistant director of the HHMI Program; and Gary Laverty, associate professor, and Seung Hong, assistant professor and lab coordinator, both of biological sciences. In addition to Anderson, the following students presented their research at the meeting: Matthew Fischer, working with Erica Selva, associate professor of biological sciences; Andre Freligh, working with John Jungck, professor of biological sciences and mathematical sciences; Lauren Genova, working with Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Gabriel Gregorzak, working with Mark Baillie and Jacqueline Fajardo, assistant professors of chemistry and biochemistry, and Alenka Hlousek-Radojcic, associate professor of biological sciences; Brooke Palus, working with Selva; Molly Peters, working with E. Fidelma Boyd, professor of biological sciences; Rebecca Pollak, working with Patricia S. Martin-DeLeon, Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; and Rivas, working with Brian Bahnson, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Grimes. UD students and faculty at the meeting were joined at a dinner by 15 alumni who either attended the event or live in the Boston area. For more about the University’s participation in the meeting, visit the website.

Stephen Krasucki, 2013 Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship Winner and DTCC Chemistry Student Accepted to Present at Prestigious “Posters on the Hill” 4/14/2014

Posters on the Hill 1 Chemistry Student Accepted to Present at Prestigious “Posters on the Hill” Newark, Delaware – Delaware Tech Chemistry student Stephen Krasucki’s research was accepted for presentation at the 18th Annual Posters on the Hill in Washington, DC, which takes place on April 28-29, 2014. Posters on the Hill is an annual event that brings together members of Congress with students engaged in undergraduate research to highlight the role that these programs have on developing the future STEM workforce. Krasucki has been working for the past eighteen months under the mentorship of Drs. Virginia Balke and John McDowell, instructors in the Biology and Chemistry department at Delaware Tech. The research involves characterizing bacteria found on wings of little brown bats infected with white nose syndrome. This severe fungal infection has led to the deaths of millions of bats since 2007. Drs. Balke and McDowell will be accompanying Stephen to the poster session. “Out of 600 applicants, only 60 students were accepted to present at Posters on the Hill,” Balke notes. “This opportunity provides a chance to highlight the positive impact that undergraduate research programs at community colleges have on student education and the role Delaware Tech is playing in this growing national movement.” Stephen says he is honored to represent Delaware Tech at the event. “I look forward to the chance to speak with members of Congress about the opportunities that I was provided with at Delaware Tech,” he says. “Being involved in undergraduate research has provided me with insight into what it takes to be a scientist. It has confirmed my desire to continue my education.” Stephen is also one of the first winners of the Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship, an honor he achieved last year. Delaware Tech – the First State’s only community college – offers academic, technical and continuing education, and corporate and community training comprising more than 120 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs. The College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Delaware Tech has four campuses across Delaware in Georgetown, Dover, Stanton and Wilmington. Visit www.dtcc.edu to learn more about Delaware Tech’s programs.