Photo: Sherin Samuel, left, Dr. Maria Carrillo Sepulveda, center, and Simran Polce.
Two life sciences students in the NYIT Advanced Research Core (ARC) program were winners at the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB) 49th annual conference in October. MACUB is a professional organization made up of college and university biologists in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut metropolitan region.
At the conference, the students presented research projects they performed in their laboratory classes taught by Assistant Professor Maria Alicia Carrillo Sepulveda, Ph.D., at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. Sherin Samuel, a junior, won first place in the Physiology category. Her research focused on the mechanism through which the thyroid hormone induces vascular relaxation. Sophomore Simran Polce was awarded second place in the Biochemistry category for her project, which focused on diabetes as a metabolic disease which can be linked to a variety of secondary complications and illnesses .
“When it was announced that I had won first place in my category, I felt as if all my hard work was being recognized,” said Samuel. “I had been doing research through the ARC program since May 2015 in Professor Maria Alicia Carrillo Sepulveda’s lab. Her lab has a very strong background in vascular physiology and offers all the tools I need to be an outstanding researcher.”
This was the first time NYIT students participated in the conference. “I was extremely pleased to hear about our two successful students,” said Assistant Professor Gavin P. McStay, Ph.D. “This acknowledgement is a way for our undergraduate students to be recognized for the quality of their research projects in the local area. This experience will instill in students some hope to go to larger conferences that include premier institutions from around the world, broadening their outlook in science in general.”
Opportunities such as this are very important for students. “Starting research early promotes scientific inquiry,” said Carrillo Sepulveda. “Students are taught a variety of techniques that they can continue to use throughout their researching career. Most importantly, whether students continue to work in the world of physical medicine or research, they have developed skills to formulate scientific hypotheses, discuss analyses, interpret data, and present their results to the scientific community.”
Added Polce, “NYIT laid the groundwork by having an undergraduate research program in place which allowed me to conduct research in the first place. Having taken general biology and general chemistry classes at NYIT helped me build a base in molecular work. My classes have continued to fuel my passion to further pursue my interest in the field of science.”