By Wendy Sarubbi | May 11, 2012 10:54 am

The College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences held its seventh annual Graduate Research Symposium May 7, a chance for Master’s and Ph.D. students  to present their research in public as they would at national and international conferences.

Students presented on topics such as infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, bacterial genetics, neurodegenerative disease, metabolic disease and drug development.  Winners received scholarships from faculty members Drs. Alexander Cole, Dinender  Singla and Sampath Parthasarathy, associate director of research for BSBS, who established awards in memory of family members.

“The Graduate Research Symposium showcases the hard work and accomplishments of senior M.S. students and third-year Ph.D. students. I was extremely impressed and pleased with the quality of the student presentations, strong attendance, and overall enthusiasm and support for graduate education and research in the biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Mollie Jewett, an assistant professor at the Burnett school who helped organize the event.

The Ph.D. winners were:

First place (Biomedical Sciences Award; anonymous donor, $250): Sunny Jain, “Borrelia burgdorferi harbors a transport system essential for purine salvage and mammalian infection.” (mentor: Dr. Mollie Jewett)

Second place (Everett W. Cole Jr. Memorial Award, $100): Samata Tiwari, “VLDL Selection into VLDL Transport Vesicle (VTV) is Regulated by CideB.” (mentor: Dr. Shadab Siddiqi)

Third place (Everett W. Cole  Jr. Memorial Award, $50) : Tianshu Li,  “Identification of epithelial stromal interaction 1 as a novel mediator of breast cancer cell invasion.” (mentor: Dr. Jihe Zhao)

The M.S. winners are:

First place (Kalyani Parthasarathy Memorial Award,  $250):  Princess Urbina , “Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 (BMP-7) Inhibits Apoptosis in STZ-Induced Diabetic Cardiomyopathy.(mentor:  Dr. Dinender Singla)

Second place (Maya Singla Memorial Award, $100):  Vanathy Paramanandam , “Role of autolysin Atl in human nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus.” (mentor:  Dr. Alexander Cole)

Third place (Maya Singla Memorial Award, $50):  Nirav Shah ,Role of Akt1 and Akt2 in ovarian tumor cell growth and metastasis.” (mentor: Dr. Deborah Altomare)

In addition to the scholarly awards, Stephanie Kurhanewicz and Stephenie Alvarado were the winners of the inaugural graduate research symposium T-shirt design contest. The shirts carried the motto “Working On Cures Not Zombies,” a humorous nod to references from family and friends “to us creating zombies in the lab,” according to the symposium’s brochure.

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