Mount talk to examine student research on disease

January 31, 2017

Jacqueline Copeland of Newburgh, N.Y., a Mount Saint Mary College biology/pre-med student, will continue the college’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series with “Getting a Jumpstart: Pursuing Basic Science Research as an Undergraduate” on February 16 at 4 p.m.

The talk will take place in the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center at the Mount, 330 Powell Ave., Newburgh. It is free and open to the public.

Copeland has conducted her research, “Identification of Generic Interactions Associated with Prp5 Using S. Cerevisiae as a Model,” with the aid of Evan Merkhofer, assistant biology professor at the Mount. Their study of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as baker’s yeast, could one day be used to help more fully understand diseases like cancer.

“Hopefully if we learn more about this protein in yeast, we can translate that knowledge to humans,” Copeland explained. “About 85 percent of their splicing genome is homologous to ours.”

Copeland will also discuss the impact that this undergraduate research has had on her evolution as a student and as an up-and-coming biologist.

The goal of iROC is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff, and students to showcase their research endeavors with both Mount Saint Mary College and the local community in a manner easily understood by attendees,” explained series coordinators Merkhofer and Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for access and outreach services. Presentations include research proposals, initial data collection, and completed research projects.

Mount Saint Mary College is ranked a Top-Tier University by U.S. News & World Report, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for careers in healthcare, business, education, social services, communications, media, and the liberal arts.