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Hendrix Students and Faculty Present Research at 2018 Arkansas INBRE Research Conference

CONWAY, Ark. (November 8, 2018) – Eleven Hendrix College students were among the 176 undergraduates who presented scientific research at the 2018 Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Research Conference held at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville November 2-3, 2018. 

Six Hendrix students presented research in the Biology division, two Hendrix students presented research in the Chemistry/Biochemistry division, and three Hendrix students presented research in the Physics division. Four of these students received awards for their research presentations: Hanna Detar ’20 earned second place in the physics poster section, Jonathan Jenkins ’19 earned first place in the biology oral presentation section, Sarah Gilmour ’19 earned an honorable mention in the biology poster section, and Nancy Velazquez ’20 earned an honorable mention in the physics poster section. 

During the opening session of the conference, Dr. Laura MacDonald ’09, assistant professor of biology at Hendrix, gave an invited faculty presentation on her laboratory’s work on thyroid cancer; the presentation was titled Collagen Increases Tumorigenic Characteristics of Papillary Thyroid Cancer Cells Harboring BRAFV600E Mutations.

The participating student researchers and mentors, their departmental affiliations, and the talk/poster titles are listed below.

Biology Division

Madison Blue ‘20; Mentor: Dr. Laura MacDonald ‘09; Hendrix College Department of Biology; Poster Title: MEK Inhibition Decreases Motility in Papillary Thyroid Cancer Cells Harboring BRAFV600E Mutations.

Sarah Gilmour ’19; Mentor: Dr. Kevin Raney ’86; UAMS Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Poster Title: Exploring the Role of G-Quadruplex Structures in the Mitochondria. This poster earned an honorable mention.

Jonathan Jenkins ’19; Mentor: Dr. Laura MacDonald ’09; Hendrix College Department of Biology; Talk Title: Collagen Increases Apoptotic Resistance in Papillary Thyroid Cancer Cell Lines Harboring BRAFV600E Mutations. This talk earned a first place award.

Haylee Oliver ’19; Mentor: Dr. Laura MacDonald ’09; Hendrix College Department of Biology; Poster Title: Collagen Alters Tumorigenic Behavior of Papillary Thyroid Cancer Cells Harboring BRAFV600E Mutations.

Portia Renee ’21; Mentor: Dr. Brenda Houck; Hendrix College Department of Biology; Poster Title: From Molecular to Behavioral: A Study of C. elegans.

Emma Reynolds ’20; Mentor: Dr. Laura MacDonald ’09; Hendrix College Department of Biology; Poster Title: Papillary and Follicular Thyroid Cancer Cell Lines Display Distinct Transcriptional Programs Despite Having Mutations in the Same Signalling Pathway

Chemistry/Biochemistry Division

Mohammad Ali ’19; Mentors: Dr. Caitlin Scott, Hendrix College Department of Chemistry and Dr. Bayazit Karaman, Hendrix College Department of Computer Science; Poster Title: Analysis of protein data bank deposited GPRC conformations.

Harrison Russell ’20; Mentors: Dr. Bill Gunderson, Hendrix College Department of Chemistry and Dr. Julie Gunderson ’06, Hendrix College Department of Physics; Poster Title: Spectroscopic Determination of Divalent Metal Ions to DNA Hairpins.

Physics Division

Ryan Bullis ’20; Mentor: Dr. Julie Gunderson ’06; Hendrix College Department of Physics; Poster Title: Design and Implementation of 3D-Printable Optomechanical Parts

Hanna Detar ’20; Mentor: Dr. Julie Gunderson ’06; Hendrix College Department of Physics; Poster Title: Single-Molecule Studies of Thrombin Binding to a G-Quadruplex DNA Aptamer. This poster earned a second place award.

Nancy Velazquez ’20; Mentor: Dr. Julie Gunderson ’06, Hendrix College Department of Physics; Poster Title: Design and Optimization of the Fluorino: A Low-Cost, Arduino-Controlled Fluorometer. This poster earned an honorable mention.

About Arkansas INBRE

The Arkansas INBRE Program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) under the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The IDeA Program was established for the purpose of broadening the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical and behavioral research.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu