May 3, 2011
Science Students Thrive, Chi Omega Lambda Inducts First Class of MMC Students
Manuel L. Romero, M.A., Director of Communications and Marketing, (212) 517-0451, email@example.com
Ann Aguanno, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, (212) 774-4838, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, N.Y. – Four Marymount Manhattan science students have earned national recognition for their academic excellence and dedication to scientific research.
Laura Anthony ’11, Olympia Gaglioti ’12, Laura Herren ’11 and Raymond Romano ’11 were recently inducted into Chi Omega Lambda Honor Society of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Undergraduate Affiliates Network (UAN).
Chi Omega Lambda recognizes outstanding undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in the molecular life sciences and provides a mentoring network to assist in the attainment of their goals. Marymount Manhattan’s students are using this recent achievement as an opportunity to promote the Department of Natural Sciences and its competitive programs.
Laura Herren '11
During the past two years, Laura Herren ’11 has been working as a research assistant at Weill Cornell Medical College, studying developmental biology. Herren plans to continue working there and continuing her research with MMC’s Alessandra Leri, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and environmental science.
“I don’t want to leave Marymount!,” said Herren, who in May will be earning a B.S. in biology with a minor in art history. “However, I am very excited to continue my education. I enjoy research and teaching, and I think I would like to pursue a doctorate in either the field of environmental chemistry or bioconservation.” Before she continues her education, Herren plans to join the Peace Corps in order to teach science and help young women pursue an education. Herren became interested in science after taking a human anatomy class at Marymount Manhattan. “After that, my professors laid out a wealth of opportunities before me, and I took as many as I could.” After her sophomore year, Leri offered her a research project studying organochlorine compounds and leaf litter decomposition. “It is the unwavering support from the professors that really sets Marymount Manhattan apart from other schools,” Herren said. “I am forever grateful to the team of strong, brilliant science professors who have given me the confidence, knowledge, and courage to push aside my self-doubts and dream big.”
Raymond Romano '11
During his time at Marymount Manhattan, the science symposiums Romano ’11 attended increased his confidence level. “I have gained the ability to present in front of critical audiences and hold my own,” he said. He will graduate in May with a B.S. in biology.
He is currently working with Associate Professor of Biology Ann Aguanno, Ph.D., in her cellular and molecular research lab, studying the role of Cyclin Dependent Kinase 5 (CDK5) in the development of various mammalian tissues. “My focus has been the role of CDK5 in the development of the insulin positive phenotype of the pancreas, and exploring the connection between insulin-related illnesses and neurodegenerative disease,” he said.
In the fall, Romano is going to attend Boston University, where he has received a merit scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in public health. After he earns his graduate degree, Romano plans to either pursue a Ph.D. in genetics or attend medical school.
Laura Anthony '11
Small class sizes and hands-on experience is what Laura Anthony ’11, appreciates most about her learning experience at Marymount Manhattan College. “In a small class you get to know your professors and can get more one-on-one help if needed. Doing hands-on research has given me a much better idea of the science research world than just taking classes alone.”
Anthony feels those experiences have helped prepare her for grad school. Anthony, a double major in biology and dance, plans to attend the master’s pathology program at Boston University Medical School, due to her enduring fascination with bacteria and viruses. “I hope to help develop the next generation of antibiotics and anti-virals,” she said.
Olympia Gaglioti '12
Olympia Gaglioti ’12 currently has a clinical internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital in the Health for Life program, a weight management program for New York City’s overweight and obese children. In summer 2009, Gaglioti worked with fellow MMC student Ray Romano ’11 and Associate Professor of Biology Ann Aguanno, Ph.D., on CDK-5’s role in mammalian tissue. Gaglioti is a double major in biology and French. She says Marymount Manhattan’s faculty members have made her experience worthwhile. “Their passion and love for the sciences makes learning exhilarating,” she said.
After she graduates, Gaglioti would like to attend medical school in order to study infectious diseases. Ultimately, Gaglioti hopes to work for Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in more than 60 countries.
The Department of the Natural Sciences fosters interest and literacy in the areas of science by providing students with the fundamental tools required for them to approach and analyze scientific questions, think critically and problem solve.
“Our biology students are doing some amazing work and we are proud of them,” Aguanno said. “The rigor of the program has improved tremendously along with the dedication of the students.”
On April 16, four MMC biology majors presented research at the 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological & Chemical Sciences, a juried poster competition held at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Emerson Khost ’13 earned second place for his research on the chemical inhibition of a protein that may be involved in neuronal and pancreatic development. Christina Galifianakis ’11 presented her findings on organochlorine in tampons. Lauren Herren ’11 earned first place in Ecology and Evolution, for her investigation of chlorination reactions in soil. Raymond Romano ’11 earned first place for his work on the association between insulin levels and neurodegeneration.
The MMC chapter of the Undergraduate Affiliate Network (UAN), an arm of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), co-sponsored the symposium for the fourth time.
Also in April, four biology students also presented at the National Experimental Biology Conference held in Washington, D.C. Khost, Romano, Herren and Jasmina Bagdanovic ’11 all presented their research findings in poster format. Romano and Bogdanovic earned Honorable Mentions out of a field of 215 participants.
Marymount Manhattan College is an urban, independent, liberal arts college. The mission of the College is to educate a socially and economically diverse student body by fostering intellectual achievement and personal growth and by providing opportunities for career development.