Catherine Welsh Smith Research Award
The Catherine Welsh Smith Award in Biological Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in biological research by a junior or senior majoring in Biological Sciences. The award committee selects the winner from nominations from faculty of students who have displayed talent for research, including initiative, independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments.
Tyler Harvey, a graduating Biological Sciences major, has worked in the Waring lab on assembly of the Drosophila eggshell, a specialized extracellular matrix. In his studies on the fc20 eggshell protein, he found that removal of coding sequences for the fc20 N-terminus drastically reduced its RNA and protein expression levels. Based on this and previous data, it is hypothesized that a quantitative enhancer lies in the N-terminal region of the fc20 gene that affects not only its expression but also that of the neighboring gene, sV23. Current efforts are focused on determining whether sV23 transgene expression is affected by removal of the fc20 “enhancer” region. After graduation Tyler will pursue graduate studies in the Johns Hopkins University Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Ph.D. program, his ultimate goal being to become a professor.
The Department of Biological Sciences Research Award in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology recognizes outstanding achievement in research by a junior or senior majoring in the Biological Sciences Department. The award committee selects the winner from nominations from faculty of students who have displayed talent for research, including initiative,independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments on their own, and from an abstract submitted by the student.
Alexis Onderak, a graduating Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, has worked in the Anderson lab on the function of the protein Air2p in the Trf4p/Air2p/Mtr4p Polyadenylation Complex. Her research has focused on the contribution of Air2p’s five zinc knuckles to the TRAMP complex, which tags and then feeds aberrant RNAs into the exosome for degradation. Her research indicates that Air2p binds the RNA through its zinc knuckles so that Trf4p can polyadenylate the RNA. After graduation, Alexis will continue to support the Golden Eagles as a student in Marquette’s Biological Sciences graduate program. With a minor in Criminology and Law Studies, she hopes to ultimately pursue a career in forensic science.
The Biological Sciences Academic Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding academic achievement in the Biological Sciences Department by a senior majoring in Biological Sciences, Physiological Sciences, or Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. The award committee selects the winner based on a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and above, the student’s sciences GPA, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
Tayler Sheahan is a senior Physiological Sciences major and German minor, and has had research experience in the labs of Dr. Edward Blumenthal at Marquette and Dr. Enno Klussmann at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. Following graduation, Tayler will continue to develop her project regarding female sterility and compromised eggshell integrity of drop-dead mutants in Drosophila melanogaster. While she has enjoyed her experiences at Marquette, Tayler is excited to begin her PhD studies in the Neuroscience Program at Washington University in St. Louis this coming fall, where she plans to pursue research involving pain perception.
Three Students from the Biological Sciences Department will be receiving the 2012 Gold Medal Award at the College Graduation Ceremony, Sunday, May 20, 2012.
The Gold Medal Award is given to the graduating senior or seniors with the highest cumulative grade point average. Of the many awards recognizing academic achievement by students in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, none speaks so clearly of the recipient’s intelligence, commitment to studies, academic discipline and extraordinary passion to learn. The Biological Sciences Department is proud that three of of the four recipients are majors in our Department.
Anna Luetmer, Alexis Onderak, and Tayler Sheahan
Anna Luetmer, from Wausau, Wisconsin, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Spanish for the Health Professions. Anna has served as a University tour guide, and is a member of Global Medical Brigades. She plans to attend Medical School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after graduation.
Alexis Onderak, from South Beloit, Illinois, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a minor in Criminology and Law Studies. She enjoys participating in intramural sports at MU and is a loyal member of the MU Fanatics. After graduation, Alexis will attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.
Tayler Sheahan, from Orland Hills, Illinois, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physiological Sciences and a minor in German. She plans to attend graduate school in the fall, to earn her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Tayler is Vice President for the Running Club and is a member of the Honors Program and Delta Phi Alpha, the German Honor Society.
Three students in the Department of Biological Sciences were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the U.S. Aaron Mason, Melissa Toeller-DiSimone and Kristin Pacl were inducted into the Zeta chapter of Wisconsin and attended the initiation banquet with their family members on Friday, April 13 2012. Phi Beta Kappa was founded by five students at the College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776 and today there are 280 chapters at American college and universities across the country. Marquette was granted a charter for a chapter in 1971. One of the activities of the chapter is to sponsor visiting scholars for presentations at participating universities. The Department of Biological Sciences sponsored Dr. Lynn Margulis (University of Massachusetts) in 1989 and Dr. Elliot Meyerowitz (Cal Tech) in 2005.