Advanced Math/Science Research Update
by Dr. April Burch, Director of the AMSR program
January 15, 2013
Since our last update, Berkshire School hosted student researchers from Belmont Hill, and all-boys prep school outside of Boston, for a 1-day mini-symposium on Student Biomedical Research. The goal was to foster collaboration, communication and community outreach with our students. AMSR students Liza Bernstein '13, Sissi Wang '13, Lars Robinson '13, Elsie Guevara '13, Ernest Yue '13, and Nate MacKenzie '14, gave short talks about their work in the new Bellas/Dixon Math and Science lecture hall. The talks were followed up by break-out sessions where Belmont Hill students described their research projects and students discussed commonalities between the projects and future goals.
The second semester of AMSR started with some terrific news. The AMSR program was awarded a grant from The Chinchester Dupont Foundation for the purchase of an EVOS fluorescence microscope. This piece of equipment will expand the types of experiments and analyses that can be done by AMSR students this and future years. The microscope should arrive shortly, and Dr. Burch has invited everyone to stop in for a look next time they are on campus.
One new, exciting project that is underway in the winter season of AMSR in the afternoons is being spearheaded by Elif Kesaf '14. Elif is from Turkey and seeks to identify novel viruses of non-pathogenic strains of Legionella bacterium from travertines in Pamukkale. In collaboration with Dr. Sunny Shin at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she will be working to isolate viruses of this bacterium with the hope of identifying new agents to combat Legionnaires' disease caused by a pathogenic form of Legionella.
Look for more news from Dr. Burch in the next issue!
On November 18th, six members of the Advanced Math/Science Research course attended a special Nanovember lecture given by Dr. Scott Tenenbaum at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany. Titled NanoCSI, the presentation focused on how nanotechnology is being used to advance DNA testing and other technologies used in crime scene investigation. Juna Lee, Seyoon Lee, James Steiner, Lillian Or, Chris Bowman and Gordon Bogardus represented Berkshire at the event which was attended by an audience of science students ranging from grade school to graduate school.
Gordon and Chris were also responsible for running a presentation on DNA extraction during the interactive portion of the event. Dr. Tenenbaum is Gordon’s mentor and this is his third year mentoring a Berkshire student. This year, Berkshire School has four students, Juna, Seyoon, Chris, and Gordon, who are mentored in their research at CNSE. Next fall, Seyoon, Chris, and Gordon will enter their work in the INTEL Science Talent Search Contest.To learn more about the Advanced Math/Science Research class, click here.