PRISM Visits the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)


On January 26th, 10 PRISM students had the opportunity of visiting the Forensic Biology Department of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.  Scientists there demonstrated how samples like DNA are extracted and analyzed directly from evidence.  Students also had the opportunity to hear about careers at the OCME. 

From the OCME website: The OCME investigates cases of persons who die within New York City from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly when in apparent health, when unattended by a physician, in a correctional facility or in any suspicious or unusual manner or where an application is made pursuant to law for a permit to cremate a body of a person.  In addition, the OCME Forensic Biology lab also tests thousands of items of evidence each year from nearly every category of crime including homicide, sexual assault, felony assault, robbery, burglary, hate crimes, and weapons possession. The lab also performs testing associated with missing persons, unidentified remains, and the ongoing effort to identify World Trade Center victims.

PRISM Students Shine at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 2015


16 PRISM students attended the ABRcMS conference this past November in Seattle Washington to present in oral and poster presentations of their research projects. Nine of these students received travel awards to attend.  Three of our students, Ronald Rodriguez, William Aguilar and Jiwon Seo, won for their presentations.  The conference lasted over 4 days and over 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students participated in this annual conference.   The goal of the conference is to increase underrepresented minority students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, specifically encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees. In addition, workshops are provided for faculty and program coordinators to provide them with resources that promote students success.

Students were accompanied by the PRISM Program and Research Coordinator, Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin, Dr. Nathan Lents and Dr. Jason Rauceo.

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The attendees included:

  • William Aguilar (Dr. Elise Champeil) – Correlation of Mc and Dmc-Adducts Structures with the Role of P21 in the Toxicity of the α-icl and β-ic
    *Winner of a Chemistry Oral Presentation Award
  • Ronald Rodriguez (Dr. Jason Rauceo) – Localization Analysis of a Major Osmotic Stress Response Gene in the Fungus Candida albicans
    *Winner of a Microbiology Oral Presentation Award
  • Jiwon Seo (Dr. Shu-Yuan Cheng) – The Effects of Upstream Nucleotides on the Readthrough Rate of VEGF-Ax
    *Winner of a Biochemistry Poster Presentation Award
  • Daysi Proano (Dr. Jason Rauceo) – Characterizing MHCI cytoplasmic domain phosphorylation in vitro and its role in binding interactions
  • Shanelle Shillingford (Dr. Gloria Proni) – The Oxidation of Allylic Alcohols to Ketones with the use of Electrochemistry
  • David Rodriguez (Dr.  Artem Domashevskiy) – Synthesis of Fluorescently-Labeled Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV) RNA and its Interactions with Pokeweed Antiviral Protein (PAP)
  • Donovan Trinidad (Dr. Nathan Lents) – Analysis of the Human Microbiome on Living and Decomposing Bodies
  • Imani Hargett (Dr. Lissette Delgado-Cruzata) – Understanding the Role of TET Proteins in 5-Hydroxymethylation in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Erica Klafehn (Dr. Angelique Corthals) – 2D to 3D Rending of Bones Samples from Sus scrofa
  • Danielle Rouse (Dr. Anthony Carpi) – The Reduction Mechanism of Mercuric Oxide in the Environment
  • Sabrina De Los Santos (Dr. Artem Domashevskiy) – Analysis of the Effects of Turnip Mosaic Virus Protein-Linked Genome on Ricin a Chain Depurination of Eukaryotic Ribosomal RNA
  • Yuanzhuo “Jove” Zhang (Dr. Guoqi Zhang) –  Diverse Copper(ii) Complexes with Simple Nitrogen Ligands: Structural Characterization and Applications in Aerobic Alcohol Oxidations in Water
  • Ronal Peralta (Dr. Anthony Carpi) – Using Moss as a Biomonitor to Detect Atmospheric Sources of Mercury
  • Lisset Duran (Dr. Lissette Delgado-Cruzata) – Studying the Loss of DNA Methyltransferase DNMT1 in BRCA1 Expression in Breast Cancer
  • Porfirio Fernandez (Dr. Jason Rauceo) – Behavior Expression Profile of alpha-Conotoxin PeI A in Chronic Constriction Injury Model in Rats
  • Maria Anaya (Dr. Areti Tsimounis-QCC)- Morphological characterization of supragranular neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex