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Biology Faculty Prize Winners

HEIDI MUELLER ’19 and ALAN CUEVAS VILLAGOMEZ ’19

HEIDI was a biology major and psychology minor pursing the pre-med track, graduating summa cum laude and being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. On campus, she worked for the Athletic Training Department and was a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. During her time at Allegheny, she was also involved with the Orchesis Dance Company, volunteered at Meadville Medical Center, and was a chemistry teaching assistant. In the fall, Heidi will be attending Medical School at the University of Buffalo.

ALAN is a first generation, minority student born in California, raised in Mexico and residing in Florida. He specifically chose Allegheny College because of its strong pre-health program and liberal arts education. Allegheny helped him gauge his interest and provided him with the resources to pursue internships and shadowing opportunities that helped make the decision to practice medicine as a physician. Activities Alan was involved with include Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the first vice president of the Minority Association of Pre medical Students (MAPS) established this past year. His future plans include enrolling in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine this fall as an MD candidate.

CONGRATULATIONS to you both!

The Robert E. Bugbee Prize Winners

This year’s winners of the The Robert E. Bugbee Prize are KAYLEE CROSSEN ’19, MEGAN HAZLETT ’19, and KATHARINE HUBERT ’19.

This prize honors the gentleman who served as the chairman of the Biology Department for twenty-seven years and is given to honor students in Biology who have demonstrated the most profound level of scientific achievement as demonstrated by the senior project.

KAYLEE was a biology major and global health minor from Ashland, OH. She served on the honor committee for 3 years and was the chair her senior year. She was also a health coach for the Community Care Network. Last summer, Kaylee was a genetic counseling assistant at Akron Children’s Hospital and plans to attend the University of Cincinnati to pursue a master’s degree in genetic counseling.

MEGAN was a biology and environmental science double major who spent four years studying the fish in small first- and second-order streams in the French Creek watershed. She completed my comp entitled “Identify Potential Brook Trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis) Populations Based on Summer Temperature and Watershed Characteristics” under the supervision of Dr. Scott Wissinger and Chris Shaffer. On campus, she was the Gator Guide supervising intern in the Admissions Office as well as the Historian for Tri-Beta, the biology department honor society. Future plans: Megan will be attending SUNY ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry) in Syracuse, NY in the fall of 2019 to pursue a master’s degree in the fish and wildlife biology and management program.

KATHARINE was a biology/music double major and psychology minor. In her biology comp, she looked at the multisystemic effects of collagen mutations fruit flies. In her music comp, she created a translational system to convert English to my newly created language, American Music Language. Throughout her time at Allegheny, she was involved in several music ensembles including civic symphony, wind symphony, and percussion ensemble. She also volunteered weekly and worked with cats at the Because You Care animal shelter. In August, Katharine will be moving to Wisconsin to pursue her PhD in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Congratulations ladies!

Dr. Lauren French and students featured on the Molecular Devices website

Customer Story – Allegheny College

Dr. Lauren French is working with undergraduate students at Allegheny College to find out how the amyloid beta peptide implicated in Alzheimer’s disease pathology inhibits a calcium-activated potassium channels. This channels interaction was reported by Yamamoto et al. (2011), and the students in her lab are investigating it using the Xenopus oocyte expression system.

She has a number of projects in her lab involving the exogenous expression system for studying ion channels, and her lab routinely uses the Axoclamp™ 900A Amplifier and Digidata® 1440A systems to teach undergraduates patch-clamp techniques and to get them started on independent research projects. Students inject cRNA encoding ion channels into oocytes and then use the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique and pCLAMP™ Software
to confirm expression and test for differences after application or injection of different compounds.

Three of Dr. French’s students, Lilly Appiah-Agyeman, Natalia Han, and Megan McGrath, have been helping her with the amyloid beta project as well as others in the lab. Dr. French says, “Inspiring the next generation of scientists is my passion, and I am always impressed at what students can do with this sophisticated and cutting-edge equipment”.

https://www.moleculardevices.com/customer-story-allegheny-college