Morristown, N.J. (March 22, 2018) – CSE students have been demonstrating their remarkable scientific knowledge at symposiums across the state! Three students presented at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey's (ICFNJ) Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Liberty Science Center, while two presented at the TriBeta Conference at Drew University this month. These seniors, Julia Burton, Laura Bustos, Michelle Kim, and Victoria Roman all spent hours developing complex research projects guided by CSE faculty members Tara Cominski, Ph.D., and Sister Irma Kessler.
The goal of the ICFNJ's symposium is to expose participants, who are chosen through a competitive selection process, to career opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. It also strives to strengthen a student's individual interest in a specific area pertaining to STEM.
Burton, with her project "Effects of Blast Traumatic Brain Injury on Endogenous Opioid Expression", analyzed the relationship between encephalin, a natural pain reliever, and its receptor DOR in mice with traumatic brain injuries. Kim, in her project "Starvation in Human and Animal Populations Using Planaria as a Model", documented the physiological events of starvation in planaria, a flatworm, to better understand starvation in humans. Finally, Roman researched the effects of sleep deprivation on college students in her project, "The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Ghrelin and Leptin Levels in College Students."
"I was inspired by the level of sophistication of the studies," says Chloe Bland, Ph.D., an assistant psychology professor at CSE and ICFNJ judge. "Students involved in the ICFNJ poster session are getting exposure to the entire STEM field and hopefully making connections that will help them excel in the future."
As for the TriBeta Conference, Bustos received an honorable mention for her presentation "Salivary Cortisol Levels in Relation to Self-Perceived Anxiety and Meditation in College" and Kim once again presented her research about starvation in planaria.