Biology

UNCP Well Represented at State Conference

NCAS poster session

Once again, UNC Pembroke was well represented at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Science.  More than twenty UNCP students and several members of the faculty participated in the 113th Annual Meeting of the NC Academy of Science.  As Academy President, Dr. Maria Santisteban of the UNCP Biology Department played a prominent role at the meeting, which was held on 1-2 April 2016 at Methodist University in Fayetteville.  The meeting drew participants from across the state and from numerous campuses, including Campbell University, High Point University, Nash Community College, NC State University, Shaw University, UNC Chapel Hill, and UNC Greensboro, among others.

K'Yana Mclean Robbie Juel
Above: K'Yana McLean (left) and Robbie Juel (right)

Most UNCP students at the meeting were associated with either the RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Program, COMPASS Scholarship Program, Dr. Ben Bahr’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Lab, or with Dr. Leonard Holmes' biotechnology lab.  Sharon Ayioka (COMPASS) and Caleb Stubbs (RISE) each received Derieux Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research from the Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Science.  This was quite an achievement, given that most of the nearly 50 oral presentations and 60 posters at the meeting would have been in competition for Derieux awards.

COMPASS students and Dr. Maria SantistebanCOMPASS students (standing from left to right): Victoria Locklear, Kaila Chavis, Alexandria Miles, Taylor Felton, Amelia Brown, Dr. Santisteban (Program Director), Ereny Gerges, Christy Henderson, Tenisha McLean, David Pedersen, Neveen Issa, and Quaison Gilchrist. Kneeling (left to right): Kelsey Leigh and Jeison Valencia-Mazuera.

Friday evening's poster session was launched with welcoming remarks from Drs. Santisteban, Clay Britton (Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee), and Ben E. Hancock, Jr. (President of Methodist University).  The meeting was dedicated to the Academy’s late Past President, Dr. Charles F. Lytle, and the evening’s events were concluded with a special presentation to honor Dr. Lytle’s exceptional service to the Academy. 

Special Presentation for the late Dr. Charles F. LytleHonorary Life Membership is bestowed on the late Dr. Charles F. Lytle.  From late to right: Dr. Santisteban, Charles' daughter Victoria and widow Brenda, and Dr. John Clamp

Saturday was packed with events. Student Academy posters were displayed, and oral sessions and workshops were given. The keynote speaker, Dr. Francis L. de los Reyes III of NC State University, offered an interdisciplinary approach to address environmental issues by way of his talk -- “The Global Sanitation Crisis: Science, Engineering, and Policy Challenges.”  Award recipients and new Collegiate Academy officers were announced during the Awards Reception in the evening.

This was Dr. Santisteban's last year as Academy President, but she will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as Immediate Past President. Dr. Santisteban handed off the gavel to Dr. Francie Cuffney of Meredith College, who will serve as President for 2016-2017.  It is noteworthy that UNCP hosted the 110th Annual Meeting of the NC Academy of Science, and Dr. Santisteban chaired the Local Arrangements Committee.  High Point University will host the 2017 meeting on March 24-25th.  Click here for a PDF copy of the 2016 meeting program.

UNCP student presenters (in bold font), co-authors (if any), and titles of their presentations are listed below:

Oral presentations:

Elizabeth Gerdes, Devang Upadhyay, and Leonard Holmes, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora: Ecofriendly Biological Control Agent.
Natasha Wells, Devang Upadhyay, and Leonard Holmes, Biological Control of Agriculture Insect Pests.

Poster presentations:

Sharon Ayioka, Tessa Calhoun, and Kevin Higgins, Carotenoids And Their Effect On Small Molecule Transport Across Membranes.  Won 3rd place in Chemical & Physical Sciences and Science Education
Robbie Juel and Lisa Kelly, An Analysis of the Vascular Flora of Sampson’s Landing, Robeson County, North Carolina.
K’yana McLean, Sreeja Asokan, and James Bear; co-authors were from University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Lineberger Cancer Center.  Chemotaxis to LPA, a G-protein Coupled Receptor Ligand.
Cary Mundell, Donna Porter, Heather Romine, and Ben A Bahr, Testing New PADK Derivatives for Positive Lysosomal Modudulation: Early Drug Discovery of a Unique Therapeutic Avenue for Alzheimer’s Disease.
KM Rentschler, MC Pait, L. Elliott, S. Hafner-Ruiz, C. Mundell, W. Patterson, H. Romine, U.S. Ikonne, and B.A. Bahr, Effects of the Lysosomal Modulator PADK on Exploratory Habituation and the Expression of Tau Isoforms in Aged Mice.
Ethan Sanford, Combined Effects of Cadmium Pollution and Hypercapnia on the Activity of Key Metabolic Enzymes at Aerobic-Anaerobic Branch Point in Marine Bivalves.
Caleb Stubbs and Maria Santisteban, Investigating Mutant Suppressor of Synthetic Lethality between htz1Δ and RPB2-2SL in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  Won 3rd place in Human Biology and Microbiology

CANCAS students

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