Gannon University Biology Students Excel

Posted: January 16, 2015

Gannon University Biology students have a lot to be proud of. Recently several biology majors were recognized for excelling outside the classroom and among their peers.

Five undergraduate biology majors received undergraduate research grants from Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) national biological honor society. The students and the projects for which they received grants are:

  • Jessie Milliken - The effect of exogenous hormones on myofibroblast structure and function
  • Connor Pletz - Effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers on the gene expression of human umbilical vein endothelial cells
  • Armaghan Raeouf - A study on the effects of polybrominated diphenyl ethers on heat shock proteins
  • Miranda Thompson - The role of SCAMP3 in regulating TGN to lysosome transport
  • Morgan Thompson - The effect of exogenous hormones on myofibroblast structure and function

The students are mentored by Elisa Konieczko, Ph.D. (Morgan Thompson and Milliken), Mary Vagula, Ph.D. (Pletz and Raeouf) and Quyen Aoh, Ph.D. (Miranda Thompson).

Gannon University served as host for the National Biennial Convention of Tri-Beta last June. Gannon's Theta Omega chapter has won TriBeta's annual Lloyd M. Bertholf Award as the outstanding chapter in the country four times since 1962.

TriBeta's more than 670 chapters have the goals of improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Since the society's founding in 1922, more than 200,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership.

Another Gannon biology major, Natalie Spaeder, was recognized for delivering the best oral presentation at the 10th Annual Regional Science Consortium Research Symposium held at Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park. Speader's presentation grew out of her research into harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie that was conducted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Lake Guardian research vessel last summer. Her research was conducted with Steven A. Mauro, Ph.D., dean of Gannon's Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.