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!
Benefit Dance for the Afghan Youth Initiative
Alumni and students are joining forces this weekend for a good cause. Berkshire's Philanthropy Society will host an inter-school dance Saturday night with the Gunnery and Salisbury. New York City-based DJ Theory, aka Jon Wienner, Berkshire Class of '08, will be playing music, and all proceeds will benefit the Afghan Youth Initiative, started by Mati Amin, also Class of '08. The AYI supports democratically-minded young people in Afghanistan through paying for their college education and other initiatives to improve the quality of life of the people of Afghanistan on a national, regional and local level. Tickets are $3 or $5 at the door. Interested in lending a hand? You can send a check to Berkshire School c/o the Philanthropy Society and all proceeds will go to the AYI. It should be a great night for a great cause!