Advanced Math/Science Research

Advanced Math/Science Research (AMSR) is a yearlong course that offers students an authentic independent laboratory experience to design and execute an original research project of their choice in the biological, physical, or social sciences. What sets Berkshire’s course apart is the program’s design: students intern with a professional scientist to conduct real-world research in world-class facilities. The course culminates with a critical review paper and a research paper, both in scientific format.

Students present the results to members of the math and science departments and the Berkshire community. Based on their research interests, students have collaborated with mentors at the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany Medical Center, Wadsworth Medical Center, Union College, UMass Amherst, Bucknell, Williams, and other institutions.

9 In 9


Over the past nine years, nine Advanced Math/Science Research students have been named Science Talent Search (STS) semifinalists, a distinction earned by only 300 students in the country each year. Renamed the Regeneron STS (formerly Intel) in 2017, it is the most prestigious science competition for pre-college students in the nation. Working closely with professional mentors, student projects have ranged from better understanding cancer immunology to creating a new type of LED lighting.

Berkshire has helped me work toward my goals. It's an encouraging environment where people from all over the world come together to learn.VIGGO BLOMQUIST '17

AMSR student Viggo Blomquist '17 was a Regeneron STS semifinalist.

Viggo Blomquist '17 was selected as a Regeneron STS semifinalist for his research involving a novel gene therapy technique to counteract heart arrhythmia, a condition he himself suffers from. In 2017, he was one of only eight students from Massachusetts and 300 nationwide chosen as STS scholars.

VIDEO: Research Students at Berkshire

AMSR Matriculation

AMSR students have matriculated at these and other leading colleges and universities:

Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Reed College, Stanford, Tufts, and Yale

More AMSR Research


Eligible students interested in Laboratory Science (Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Virology, or Biochemistry) are typically paired with Dr. Burch who coordinates a research experience for the student to conduct in our state of the art research laboratory on campus. If the student's interests are beyond the scope of what may be offered on campus (Neuroscience, Nanobiotechnology, Physics or Astronomy), Dr. Burch will arrange for a mentorship for the student with regional experts in that particular topic. Recent on- and off-site research projects are shown below. Topics in theoretical Mathematics research are also available.



"Finding Semiconductor Devices with Efficient Thermoelectric Properties" **
Shuvam Chakraborty '16
Mentor: Dr. Shahedipour-Sandvik, University at Albany

"Highly conserved gene mab-21 does not function in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway in C. elgans"
Brian Yu '16
Mentor: Dr. Zhiyu Liu, Cornell University

"The Immunology of White Nose Syndrome: The Presence of Dendric Cell Marker IL-6 in Myotis lucifigus cDNA"
Gwynne Domashinski '16
Mentor: Dr. DeeAnn Reeder, Bucknell University

"Improving on our understanding of BK Virus Structure: Production of VLPs in Drosophila High 5 Cells"
Yuze Zhang '16
Mentors: Dr. Susan Hafenstein, Penn State College of Medicine, and Dr. April Burch

"Localization of L2 Protein on Human Papilloma Virus-16 by Cryo-EM of Hybrid L1/L2 Virus-like Particles"
Ann Phan '16
Mentors: Dr. Susan Hafenstein, Penn State College of Medicine, and Dr. April Burch

"Study of CRTS Binary Eclipsing Stars"
Jason Tao '16
Mentor: Dr. Julie Skinner, Boston University

"Structure-Function Analysis of ΦX174 Pilot Protein"
Andrew Pitcher '17
Mentor: Dr. Bentley Fane, University of Arizona at Tucson

"Novel Suppression Technique of Premature Termination Codons and its Application to Congenital Long QT Syndrome 2"**
Viggo Blomquist '17
Mentor: Dr. Christopher Ahern, University of Iowa

"Analysis of the waist section of the H protein in virus ØX174"
Ryan Zang'17
Mentor: Dr. Bentley Fane, University of Arizona at Tucson


"An Inorganic In Vitro Granuloma Infection Model with Implications Towards In Vivo Infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis" **
Josiah Tolvo '16
Mentor: Dr. April Burch

UCH-L1 as a Potential Biomarker for Traumatic Brain Injury in Drosophila melanogaster"
Sophie Needles '16
Mentor: Dr. April Burch

"New methods for screening novel natural insecticides"
Eric Hwang '17
Mentor: Dr. April Burch

"BMAA: Could It be The Possible Cause for Parkinson's Disease and ALS?"
Jack Wu '17
Mentor: Dr. April Burch

"Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Phage for Anabaena variables"
Claire Lemker '17
Mentor: Dr. April Burch

** Regeneron/Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist


"Economic Analysis of the Stock Market 2015 Crash in China"
Jay Ma '16
Mentor: Dr. Max Gulker

"Quantitative Easing: An Analysis Of The Unconventional Monetary Policy"
Jake McLanahan '16
Mentor: Dr. Max Gulker

"Examining the Student Debt Reduction and Cost-Effective Education Solutions of 2016 Presidential Candidates"
Ehan Keator '16
Mentor: Dr. Max Gulker

"Projecting Japanese Economic Growth Using Historic Analysis of Fixed-Rate Long Term Monetary Policy"
Samuel Gatsos '17
Mentor: Dr. Max Gulker

"Analysis of the Chinese and American Entrepreneurial Worlds"
Siqi Zhou '17
Mentor: Dr. Max Gulker


In 2016, Berkshire added an Engineering track of AMSR. Students with interests in engineering and self-guided, project-based learning in related concepts may participate in this track of the AMSR program. Students are mentored by Ben Urmston, Science Department Faculty, to complete engineering tasks such as quadcopter design and flight board programming. Through these projects, students learn concepts in aeronautical engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering foundations. In past years, select students have been paired with Engineering mentors at Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin.

Dr. April Burch
Science Department Chair
Dir. of Advanced Math/Science Research


FALL 2018