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!

INTEL-Bound
Posted 11/17/2010 01:00AM
Sixth formers Long Tran, Jenny Quilty and Andrew Walther are this year’s Berkshire School entrants for the INTEL Science Talent Search Competition, the top science contest in the nation for seniors. Approximately 1700 seniors across the nation enter the contest. Students must submit a research paper by November 17th based on research that they have done, usually under the supervision of a research scientist. They also must complete an extensive application form that requires them to write two major essays about their interest in science. “It’s a great group of students from our Advanced Math/Science Research Course,” said Research Course Director Kurt Schleunes. “What I like most is that each of them made an amazing contribution to their scientific field. Jenny was able to exhibit tumor suppression in mice using a vaccine, Andrew identified certain genetic mutations responsible for a form of breast cancer, and Long developed a testing system for aging in cells that will enhance our understanding of the connection between disease and aging.”

The student’s mentors, research sites, and projects are listed below:

Andrew Walther of Pennsylvania
Genetics:  Dr. Ganguly, UPenn
Detection for a CHEK2*1100delC Mutation in a Cohort of TP53 Negative probands with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Long Viet Tran of Vietnam
Genetics: Dr. Maxwell, Wadsworth Center
Testing Systems to Examine Genome Instability During Yeast Aging

Jenny Quilty of Massachusetts
Cancer: Dr.Srivastava, UConn
Using Identification and Characterization of Immunogenic Mutations in the Mouse Genome as a Potential Vaccine for Cancer Causing Cells: A Mouse Fibrosarcoma Model

INTEL will announce the 300 semifinalists on January 12, 2011, and the 40 finalists on January 26, 2011.

Last year Berkshire had its first INTEL Semifinalist, Xiao Rui Guo '10. To read more about Xiao Rui's INTEL project, click here.

To learn more about Advanced Math/Science Research at Berkshire, click here

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