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Five College of Mount Saint Vincent Student Researchers Present Poster at Drosophila Research Conference

3/17/2015

Only 150 Out of 1,000 Abstracts Are Presented—Even Fewer by Undergraduates

Riverdale, N.Y. – Five College of Mount Saint Vincent biology majors who have spent the past year conducting scientific research on fruit flies presented their findings at the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference—an accomplishment for any academic scientist, but all the more notable because the students are undergraduates. The conference, which is sponsored by the Genetics Society of America, was held March 4-8 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.

The conference annually attracts more than 1,500 scientists, with over 1,000 presentations that include 170 talks. Approximately 1,000 research abstracts are submitted each year and only 150 are selected for platform presentations.

The Mount’s team of undergraduate scientists was mentored by Dr. James Fabrizio, Associate Professor of Biology. The scientific poster, “Rescuing the individualization defect of mulet using the UAS/GAL4 system: A work in progress,” was presented by Rachel Daniel ’16, Iryna Koziy ’16, Vincent Lombardo ’16, Dwaine Pryce ’15, and Kavita Bharrat ’15.

“Undergraduate presentations at this conference are not very common, so our students found themselves in a very select group,” said Dr. Fabrizio. “They impressed everyone at the meeting, not only with their fine presentation, but also with their questions and insights about the science being presented around them. They even went a step further, using what they observed and learned at the meeting to come up with experimental ideas of their own—ideas that I will put into practice. As a research mentor, I could not be happier.”

He continued, “The Genetics Society’s Drosophila Research Conference is an opportunity to learn about research, network with colleagues, and present scientific findings—making it ideal for our students, who were able to spend time among postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and principal investigators studying Drosophila melanogaster. They made the most of this wonderful opportunity.” The five students, two of whom will graduate in May, are considering careers in medicine, biomedical research, and other health professions.

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