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Lycoming College students present research at University of Maryland symposium

Lycoming College students present research at University of Maryland symposium

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Six Lycoming College students recently presented their research at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Undergraduate Research Symposium. They were accompanied by Charles Mahler, Ph.D., chemistry professor, and Jeff Newman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the biology department.

The participating students were seniors Ellen Confer and Victoria Bortniak; and juniors Samantha Stropko, Andrew Gale, Jessica Hoffman and Rory McAtee. Stropko and McAtee each received first-place awards in their respective subject categories for their presentations.

Confer’s research investigating how kidney disease associated mutation (T1191) alters Myosin 1E intracellular localization was completed during a summer undergraduate research fellowship at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Bortniak described her independent study project in Newman’s lab on the novel species Chryseobacterium populense CF314.

Stropko presented her discovery and characterization of a new bacterium that will be named Bacillus colbertis SJS. Her research also was done in Newman’s lab.

Gale’s bioinformatics project on a new, web-based method to calculate average amino acid identity between prokaryotic genomes was done in collaboration with Newman in biology and Eileen Peluso, Ph.D., in math/computer science.

Hoffman’s presentation focused on the detection of the G143A mutation in New York populations of Podosphaera leucotricha and its significance in QoI practical resistance. Her research was carried out during a summer undergraduate research fellowship at Cornell University.

McAtee spoke about the fine-tuning of the isomeric stability and metal-binding properties of light-triggered Hydrazone Metal Chelators. His work was done during a summer undergraduate research fellowship at Duke University.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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