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Accolades & Honors

Pitt-Greensburg student researchers won top prizes at the Tri-Beta district convention

a bobcat statue

The Pitt-Greensburg chapter of Beta Beta Beta had a strong showing at the April Tri-Beta Northeast 3 District Convention held at Gannon University. Pitt-Greensburg competed with seven other undergraduate institutions at the event, which hosted approximately 30 student presentations in biology and biochemistry.

Autumn Buchheit and Morgan Valvo received first place for their poster presentation, “Benefits of Vitamin B on Nicotine-Induced Autistic Behavior in C. elegans.” The prize includes a $900 travel award to present their research at the national convention. Madison Stonbraker placed second for her poster, “Insight into how Jazf-1 regulates gene expression in the eye nervous system.”

Mackenzie Taylor, Taylor Podob and Riley Lesko won first place in the oral presentation session for “Effects on Lithium Chloride in C. elegans: A Potential Therapeutic Treatment for Huntington’s Disease” and will also receive the travel award to attend the national convention. Juston Crookston also gave an oral presentation on his work, “roo and hopper Transposable Elements Responsible for Lobe Mutations in Drosophila melanogaster,” done as part of the Pitt-Greensburg Honors Program.

In all, 18 Pitt-Greensburg students presented their research at the conference. Joining those who won awards were:

  • Alexis Yuhas, “Phototherapy as a Method to Reduce Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder in C. elegans”
  • Nate Henry, Alaina Oldfield and Taylor Uplinger, “The Comparison of Nitrogen Depletion and Lipid Production in Micro-algae”
  • Tatum Marcyjanik, “Derivatives of Hydroxybenzoic Acids and Their Impact on Biofuel Production in the Oleaginous Microalgae Microchloropsis salina”
  • Mariana Bajich, Stephanie Bodner and Naomi Custer, “The Effects of Jazf-1 on the Nervous System of Drosophila melanogaster”
  • Jacob Philburn and Terry Nicholson, “The Effects of Hormones on Vulva Development and Reproduction using C. elegans”
  • Melanie Mienke, “Zebrafish Model of Renal Injury: Kidney Cell Ablation Efficiency Using a Nitroreductase System”

Pitt-Greensburg also brought home the Outstanding District Chapter Award and the Most Delegates Attending Award with 30 students attending. They also received second place for their chapter history project.