PRISM students accepted to multiple programs this summer and next year

As of fall 2014, 51 PRISM alumni reported gaining admission to graduate and professional programs since 2006. This year four of our seniors join this group as they enter graduate and medical school programs:

 

Williams, ShawnShawn Williams (Mentor: Dr. Domashevskiy):

Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry PhD Program, Brown University

 

 

image1Tanya Napolitano (Mentors: Drs. Proni & Petraco):

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Toxicology PhD Program, St. John’s University

 

 

Reinfeld, SamSamuel Reinfeld (Mentor: Dr. Domashevskiy):

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program (DO), NY College of Osteopathic Medicine

 

 

P1000642Yessenia Lopez  (Mentor: Dr. Cheng):

NIH Funded Post Baccalaureate Research Preparation Program (PREP), Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 

In addition, six PRISM juniors will be attending prestigious summer research programs with various universities and institutes this summer:

 

Fernandez, PorfirioPorfirio Fernandez (Mentor: Dr. Rauceo):

Leadership Alliance/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Program, University of Miami

 

 

PROANO_DAYSI croppedDaysi Proano (Mentor: Dr. Svoronos – QCC):

Undergraduate Summer Research in Molecular Biophysics, Princeton University

 

 

Seo, JiwonJiwon Seo (Mentor: Dr. Cheng):

Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) Program, Harvard University

 

 

Shillingford, Shanelle croppedShanelle Shillingford (Mentor: Dr. Proni):

2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Program, The Scripps Research Institute (California campus)

 

 

Williams, Desiree croppedDesiree Williams (Mentor: Dr. Li):

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, City University of New York

 

 

Duran, Lissette.croppedLisset Duran (Mentor: Dr. Lissette Delgado Cruzata):

Morocco Summer Research Program, National Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

 

 

Good luck on your endeavors! We are very proud that you are all part of our PRISM family!

Zully Santiago receives honorary award for her work in The Writing Center

ZullyThis past summer our student (and the 2014 PRISM Symposium Best Poster Presentation winner) Zully Santiago received an Honorary Award presented by both the Department of Sciences and the Department of English for her contributions at the John Jay Writing Center. Professor Artem Domashevskiy, Zully’s research advisor, told us that “for many years now Zully has worked at the Writing Center, specializing in teaching John Jay’s Biochemistry students how to read and write scientific manuscripts in both The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry Journal style formats, because I require lab reports in my Biochemistry classes to be submitted in those formats.”

Zully graduated in the spring, and will be attending CUNY Graduate Center to begin her Ph.D. studies this fall. Prof. Domashevskiy notes that “Zully is a very gifted, intelligent, creative, and hardworking young woman. I believe she will have a bright future as a researcher and academician and will become an exceptional professional in her field.”

Alumni Spotlight – Christopher Pedigo (PRISM ’09) Earns American Heart Association Fellowship and Other Accolades

Christopher Pedigo, a PRISM alumnus who graduated in 2009, is steadily pursuing his goal of starting his own biomedical research lab.  With just one more year to go in pursuit of his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the Miller College of Medicine in the University of Miami, Christopher has already published several scholarly articles and received accolades for his work.

Pedigo Blog 1While at John Jay, he worked under the mentorship of Dr. Yi He on a project published in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, titled “Bioaccessibility of arsenic in various types of rice in an in vitro gastrointestinal fluid system.”  After he graduated, Christopher spent two years as an adjunct instructor at John Jay and Borough of Manhattan Community College, while continuing to perform research in the labs of both Dr. He and Dr. Nathan Lents.

In 2009, Christopher was accepted into his PhD program and started research with his PI, Dr. Sandra Merscher, and co-mentor, Dr. Alessia Fornoni.  Their work investigates novel causes of Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD), which affects 40% of diabetic patients, as potential therapeutic targets.  Consequently, Christopher and his lab are looking at the role of circulating factors on the glomerulus in vivo in mouse models and in vitro in the podocyte.

He is co-first author on the publication, “Sphingomyelinase-like phosphodiesterase 3b expression levels determine podocyte injury phenotypes in glomerular disease,” published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In this study, Christopher and his colleagues show that SMPDL3b levels are differently regulated in two glomerular diseases and that these levels determine the type of damage caused by certain circulating factors (more specifically sUPAR).

Christopher earned an American Heart Association Fellowship to help him continue his research and eagerly awaits word on his pre-doctoral NIH F31 fellowship application.  Travel grants awarded to Christopher are allowing him to visit various U.S. locales in order to advance his research and develop his expertise. Christopher is one of five PhD students nationally to receive the Tutored Research and Education for Kidney Scholars grant that will afford Christopher the opportunity to take a week-long kidney physiology class in Maine.  Other travel grants also allow him to attend the Kern Lipid Conference this summer in Vail, Colorado and to attend the American Society of Nephrology Conference in Philadelphia this fall.

PRISM is very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments since graduating John Jay and wishes him the best of luck in all of his academic endeavors.

What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree?

You may know that John Jay offers three different forensic science major tracks – molecular biology, toxicology, and criminalistics.  But before you focus in on your chosen path, why not consider all the doors that can be opened with your forensic science degree?

The American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) recently sponsored a series of career webinars, all hosted by a distinguished professional in the given field.  If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, you can also access the presentation slides that accompany each session.

These webinars will help you find out:

  • What a forensic odontologist is and does…
  • What a typical day in the life of a medical examiner is like…
  • The level of education needed to advance as a criminalist or a toxicologist…
  • What kinds of salary expectations you should have…
  • Much more!

 

John Jay’s Student Travel Fund

StudentTravelBannerInterested in going to a conference, but you already used up your allotted PRISM funds? John Jay College can provide funding for a second trip!

 Student Travel Fund

The Student Travel Fund provides students and student groups with funding to travel to conferences to enhance their professional and academic development. The maximum contribution for an individual proposal is $1,500. The maximum contribution for a group (4 or more students) is $5,000. Undergraduate students with at least a 2.5 GPA who have completed at least 30 credits are eligible.  Transfer students in their first semester must submit an official transcript from their previous institution. Deadline May 15, 2015. For more information, please go here.

Cheryl Williams Student Presentation Scholarship
The Cheryl Williams Student Presentation Scholarship supports students interested in presenting at professional conferences up to $1,000. Cheryl loved the students of John Jay and created this fund to ensure that learning and growth would be provided for them in the future.  Rolling Deadline; please submit an application at least 6-8 weeks prior to the professional conference that you plan on attending. For more information, please go here.

Young Scholars Award
The Young Scholars Award promotes student participation at scholarly conferences. If approved by the Scholarship Committee, students can receive up to a maximum of $1,000. Rolling Deadline; please submit an application at least 6-8 weeks prior to the professional conference that you plan on attending. For more information, please go here.

Latina Researcher’s Network Conference: Apr 3rd to 5th

The Latina Researchers Conference brings scholars, researchers and aspiring investigators from across the U.S. to address the under-representation of diverse scholars in research activities and in academia. Participants include research scientists, academicians, higher education administrators, students and various members of professional organizations and research institutes.

All PRISM students are invited to attend. But if you can’t make the whole conference, PRISM is co-sponsoring a special session on April 4th specifically for women of color in science.

This session will have Latina speakers from the fields of neuroscience, cultural anthropology, and psychology talking about their journeys and the challenges they faced, and continue to face, both as women and as women of color. Following this session is a networking and PhD student poster session (with refreshments) which you are also invited to.
 
This panel session takes place April 4, from 4.30 to 6 pm at John Jay College. It is FREE for students of John Jay and CUNY community colleges. Students are also invited to attend the entire conference for free, but must register with us ASAP if they wish to do so.

We got a facelift!

As our program is expanding, so is our site!

In the last year, PRISM has begun to offer opportunities to students at partner CUNY community colleges, and in spring 2014 we’ve added Pre-Med and Pre-Professional counseling to the mix. It seemed only fitting that we revamp our website to reflect the great changes taking place.

The website has the same content as before — contacts, information on funding for students and mentors, etc. — but we also now offer an up-to-date calendar for tracking events, links to resources that you can use regularly, profiles on mentors, and so much more!

One of the most exciting additions to the site is our blog. Check frequently for short articles on topics from presenting at conferences (Want to know some great ways to tame the butterflies?), to writing the dreaded graduate school essay. We’ll also include interviews with professionals from all walks of science and math, as well as provide resources for alumni.

If you have any suggestions for articles, or even want to write one for us, please don’t hesitate to reach out!