Category Archives: Undergraduate

6th Annual Michigan Physiological Society Meeting

Ten graduate students, seven undergraduate students, four faculty members, and two recent alumni from Michigan Tech recently participated in the 6th annual Michigan Physiological Society Meeting held on the campus of Central Michigan University on June 27-28.

John Durocher (BIO) served as the president of the society and Ian Greenlund (KIP) served as the trainee committee chair. Four MTU graduate students completed oral presentations, with Jeremy Bigalke (KIP) winning one of the top oral presentation awards.

Another thirteen MTU students were active in poster presentations, with Sarah LewAllen (BIO) winning one of the top poster presentation awards. Finally, two graduate students served as moderators for oral presentations.
In conjunction with the annual meeting, the 3rd annual Michigan Physiology Quiz competition was held. Michigan Tech competed against six other teams from around the state. Team members included Jana Hendrickson (KIP), Sarah LewAllen (BIO), Jill Poliskey (BIO), and Colleen Toorongian (KIP).

The Michigan Tech team was very competitive through four rounds but missed making the final round between the top three teams by a single question. All team members did a great job with the intense questions.

Michigan Tech was one of only three universities from around the state to achieve Diamond-Level Sponsorship! This was possible thanks to the College of Sciences and Arts, Michigan Tech Graduate School, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, and Department of Biological Sciences. Additional faculty and staff members from Michigan Tech also made individual awards that contributed to the cash prizes for the quiz competition, oral presentations, and poster presentations.


MLS Program Passes NAACLS Accreditation Site Visit

MLS Faculty & Staff: Kelsey Johnson (MLS Clinical Practicum Coordinator), Karyn Fay (MLS Program Director), Brigitte Morin (Lecturer)
Pictured Left to Right: Kelsey Johnson (MLS Clinical Practicum Coordinator), Karyn Fay (MLS Program Director), and Brigitte Morin (Lecturer)

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program recently had a Site Visit by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). On April 9-10, three reviewers from NAACLS were on campus intensely evaluating curricula, laboratories and outcome measures and talking to University administrators, current students, recent graduates, clinical affiliates and the MLS advisory board. They were especially interested in evaluating the support the administration has shown to accredit the MLS program at Michigan Tech.

The accreditation procedure has been a four-year process, starting in 2014. It began with a preliminary study, a self-study and finally a successful site visit. The MLS program passed without deficiencies, which is unheard of for a first-time program accreditation.

The final step is the NAACLS Executive Board meeting in September, upon which the accreditation will be conferred. This accreditation will allow the MLS program to grow, send more students to clinical sites, and help alleviate the critical need for medical laboratory scientists not only locally, but across the country.

NAACLS logo


Students Present at the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Several undergraduate students working in biology research laboratories presented at Michigan Tech’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium this year. The event highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on our campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students!

Michelle Kelly URS 2017

Michelle Kelly from Amy Marcarelli’s laboratory challenged the assumption that variation of biological nitrogen transformation rates within streams are small. Her findings suggest that these rates can actually significantly vary and may not be estimated by a single study site per reach. Michelle’s research was funded by a Research Experience for Undergraduates through the National Science Foundation.

 

Hannah Marti URS 2017Hannah Marti from John Durocher’s laboratory explored the potential health benefits of acute mindfulness meditation. In her pilot study, she observed a reduction in anxiety, heart rate, and aortic pulse pressure after the one introductory hour of mindfulness mediation. Hannah’s research was funded through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program sponsored by the Portage Health Foundation. Hannah earned an honorable mention for her presentation!

 

Jacob Schoenborn URS 2017

Jacob Schoenborn from Xiaoqing Tang’s laboratory studied mice to understand the influence of blueberries on the function of pancreatic beta cells, which regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. His results suggest that the bioactive substances in blueberries can improve beta cell sensitivity. Jacob’s research was funded through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program sponsored by the Portage Health Foundation. Jacob earned an honorable mention for his presentation!

 

David Trine URS 2017David Trine from Thomas Werner’s laboratory reviewed the abdominal pigment pattern of Drosophila guttifera by through five toolkit genes. His findings will help to understand the evolutionary process of color patterns on animals and also may lead to future cancer research. David’s research was funded through a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

 


Tumban lab MiCup poster presentation

 

Ebenezer Tumban portriat
Ebenezer Tumban

Kambrie Boomgaard (Grand Rapids Community College) will be presenting a poster based on research in Dr. Ebenezer Tumban’s research lab.

Her title and abstract are:

Assessing the Solubility of Recombinant Bacteriophage  L2 Coat Proteins in Two Bacterial Strains

Kambrie Boomgaard1,, Lukai Zhai2, Ebenezer Tumban2

 

1Grand Rapids Community College,  2Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University

Abstract:

Currently, there are about 19 human papillomavirus (HPV) types that can cause cervical, penile, and anal cancers. A Second-generation HPV vaccine (Gardasil-9) has been approved to protect against more HPV types. However, the vaccine is going to protect against HPV types that cause only 86-90% of HPV-associated cervical and penile cancers. Complete protection from all HPV-associated cancers requires the addition of HPV L1 capsid from all cancer-causing HPVs. As an alternative approach to L1, we targeted conserved epitopes on L2 capsid protein to elicit broad protection against more HPV types. We developed bacteriophage (phage) MS2 and AP205 virus-like particles (VLPs) displaying a conserved L2 epitope and consensus epitopes from the L2 of all cancer-causing HPV types. Although some of the L2-phage coat proteins assembled efficiently into VLPs, the assembly of other L2-phage coat proteins were sub-optimal. The main goal of this research was to assess if the solubility and assembly of the sub-optimal L2-phage coat proteins could be enhanced by expressing the proteins in two different bacterial strains and at different temperatures. Our preliminary results show that AP205 displaying L2 is expressed and is soluble in Origami cells induced at 37 °C.

MiCUP Poster Presentation

by Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Join the Center for Diversity and Inclusion from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday June 16, in MUB Ballroom A where students from Delta College, Grand Rapids Community College and Wayne County Community College who have been participating theMiCUP Residential Summer Research Program will present posters.

Join in a celebration of their accomplishments. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information email Kellie Raffaelli.

VanAcker awarded National Student Honor Award from ASCP

VanAckerBrent VanAcker, a senior in the Medical Laboratory Science Program, was recently awarded an American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) National Student Honor Award (NSHA). This award is based on academic achievement, leadership ability, community activities, professional goals, and endorsements from faculty and community leaders. Brent will be graduating at the end of this semester and then will be going to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to complete a Clinical Practicum in Medical Laboratory Science. Our congratulations to Brent for earning this prestigious award!

 

Submitted by:
Karyn Fay  MS MT(ASCP)SH
Director: Medical Lab Science Program
Michigan Tech University

 


Fay winner of distinguished teaching award

FayOriginally published in Tech Today

Choi, Fay Receive Distinguished Teaching Awards

Chang Kyong Choi (ME-EM) and Karyn Fay (Bio Sci), have been named winners of the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Choi, affectionately known as “CK”, won in the Associate Professor/Professor category, while Fay, a professor of practice, received the award in the Assistant Professor/Lecturer/Professor of Practice category.

Choi received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Chung-ang University in Seoul, Korea and earned a PhD from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

He emphasizes a personalized learning connection with each of his students, achieved through active individual meetings while valuing what he calls the “unique ideas, experiences, strengths and attitudes” each student brings to the classroom. Read Choi’s full story.

Fay, a native of Manistique, received a BS in Medical Technology from Lake Superior State College (now Lake Superior State University). She worked in medical labs throughout the country, returning to the Upper Peninsula to earn a Master’s in Biological Sciences.

After serving as hematology superior at a local hospital, she came to Michigan Tech initially as an adjunct faculty member in 2002, eventually turning to teaching full time. Read Fay’s full story.

Fay and Choi will each receive a $2,500 monetary award and a plaque at an awards dinner sponsored by University President Glenn Mroz in the fall.

 



Students participate in simulated advanced suture lab exercise

army suture labSergeant Marone and Sergeant Stewart with the US Army returned to campus last night to teach an Advanced Suture lab to ten pre-med/pre-vet students. Students learn suturing techniques using pig legs.  The class was a follow-up to the suture lab held in November with Sergeant Marone and Sergeant Cunningham. They also talked about Army career and scholarship opportunities for premed students.


Biology Week March 28-April 1

Biology Week flyerSponsored by Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society

Biology Week March 28-April 1

Monday – MEDLIFE presents MEDTALK 2016 – Come hear from health professionals and students of MEDLIFE from their mobile clinic to Riobamba, Ecuador over spring break.  7pm in Fisher 101

Tuesday – Research presentations – If you’re interested in biology related research, come hear about what others students have been working on!  You could be next!  6pm in Fisher 131

Wednesday – Jeopardy Night – Join us in a fun-filled night of biology related questions with fellow students to test your knowledge and your competitive nature. 7pm in Dow 642

Thursday – Move Night: Concussion – During an autopsy of a NFL player Mike Webster, a finding similar to Alzheimer’s disease is discovered, published and made aware to others.  6pm in Fisher 101.

Friday – Book/Plant/Bake Sale – Biology books, plant seeds and fresh baked treats!  Need we say more? 10am – 3 pm in Fisher Hall

 


Marti and Ingram place 2nd, 3rd in Undergraduate Student Expo

Hannah Marti

UPDATED: Link to the official news release in Tech Today.

Excerpted from an email from Lorelle Meadows, Dean Pavlis Honors College congratulating the winners of the Undergraduate Research Expo:

“During the Expo, all of the posters were judged by a minimum of 2 faculty judges. The researchers receiving the highest average scores are:

1st Place Gina Testa, Wildlife Ecology and Management

“Avian Community Responses to Stand Age in Northern Aspen Forests”

2nd Place Hannah Marti, Biomedical Engineering (who worked in Dr. John Durocher‘s laboratory)

“The Effects of Changes in Fitness and Fatness on Aortic Pulsatility”

3rd Place Olivia Ingram, Biological Sciences ( who worked in Dr. Kevin Trewartha‘s lab in Cognitive Learning Sciences)

“The Role of Implicit Memory Processes in Age-Related Declines in Motor Learning”

Congratulations!  These students will all receive a small token, a $20 gift card to dining services, lunch with the Vice President for Research and an invitation to receive their certificate at the Annual Student Leadership Awards Reception.

Expo visitors also voted on an audience choice award and we have a remarkable three-way tie.  The winners of this award are: Olivia Ingram, Lewis Marshall and Abbey Senczyszyn.  Winners of the audience choice award may stop our office beginning tomorrow to retrieve your audience choice prize.”