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Confocal Imaging of the Drosophila Central Nervous System (Steve Crews Lab)

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Koeppe Biology Honors Symposium

The Department of Biology has been proud to showcase our undergraduate’s research at the John Koeppe Undergraduate Honors Research Symposium since 1985.

This symposium is held twice a year – in November during the fall semester and in April during the spring semester.  BIOL 692H students give an oral presentation/defense of their research for their Senior Honors Thesis in Biology. Biology majors/2nd majors may choose to do their senior honors thesis in either the fall or spring semester of their senior year.  Dr Amy Shaub Maddox ( is our Biology Honors Director. BIOL 692H semester directors are Dr Amy Shaub Maddox (Spring 2019) and Dr Steve Matson (Fall 2019). Upcoming symposium dates are listed below.  These events are free and open to the public!

Fall 2019 Koeppe Biology Undergraduate Honors Symposium (Dr Steve Matson, Fall Semester Director) – TBA in November, 2019 in Coker 215.

Spring 2019  Koeppe Biology Undergraduate Honors Symposium (Dr Amy Shaub Maddox, Spring Semester Director) will be held Monday-Friday, April 1-5, 2019 in Coker 215.

Fall 2018 Senior Honors Thesis Student

Student Name & Faculty Research Mentor Project Title
Aiden Alejo
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Nathaniel A. Hathaway
“Epigenetically Acting Small Molecules Increase the Efficiency of iPSC Generation”
Adelaide Cooke
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Channing Der
“Biochemical and Biological Characterization of KRAS Q61 Mutants”
Nathalie Eegholm
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Johanna Rosman
“Modeling oxygen dynamics and predicting hypoxic conditions in the Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina”
Maggie Lee
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Matthew Lockett
“Real-time Analysis of an Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Using 3D Paper-based Cultures”
Sarah McQueen
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Diego Riveros-Iregui
“Invasive Plants can Increase Soil Respiration Rates in San Cristobal, Galapagos”
Maddie Parker
Faculty Research Mentors: Dr. Marcey Waters and Dr. Eric Brustad
“Combinatorial mutagenesis of HP1- histone tail binding interface to optimize interactions in Methyllysine Reader Proteins”
Jane Pearce
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Stephen D. Hursting
“Starving Cancer from the Inside and Outside: Nutrient Stress in Combination with Autophagy Inhibition Kills Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma”
Carlos Perez-Heydrich
Faculty Research Mentors: Dr. Stacey Robinson and Dr. Todd E. Thiele
“Neuropeptide Y in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Ethanol Consumption in Mice”
Alex Tribo
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Bryan L. Roth
“Interrogation of Non-canonical Transducer Couplings at Hallucinogen-bound Serotonin 5-HT2A Receptors”

Spring 2018 Senior Honors Thesis Students

Student Name & Faculty Research Mentor Project Title
Shaily Aghera
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Antonio Amelio
Inducible Expression of the CRTC1-MAML2 Fusion Oncogene for Modeling Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma Cell Phenotypes
Seth Alexander
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Brian Conlon
Rifampicin Mediated Cell Death in Staphylococcus aureus
Alison Bonner
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Mark Peifer
Characterizing the Role of Crk in Central Nervous System Development in Drosophila
Madison Butler
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Ryan Miller
The Role of EGFRvIII and PTEN Deletion in Dynamic Kinome Reprogramming
Samuel Chao
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Bob Duronio
Investigating Histone Regulation of Metazoan Replication Timing In Vivo
Xuewen (Kirsten) Chen
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Stephen D. Hursting
Metabolic Reprogramming Underlies Differential Effects of Folate Depletion in Nonmetastatic and Metastatic Claudin-low Breast Cancer
Alexander Davis
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Laura Miller
Hydrodynamics of the American Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)
Claire Drysdale
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Kerry Bloom
Probing the 3D Architecture of the Inner Kinetochore
Marco Fanous
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Aravind Asokan
Development of a New Transgenic Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model to Evaluate Therapeutic Approaches Using Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)
Hannah Jaggers
Faculty Research Mentor:  Dr. Donita Robinson
Activation of Orbito-accumbens Projections does not Reliably Reverse Sign-tracking Behavior in Adolescent Alcohol Exposed Rats
Nicholas Keith
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. John Sondek
Dysregulation of Phospholipase C Gamma 1 Activity in Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma
Makayla Lund
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Jason Whitmire
Determining the Mechanism of Action of NK Cell Regulation of T Cell Responses to Infection
Trevor McPherson
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Flavio Frohlich
Physiological Correlates of Active and Passive Music Therapy Interventions
Falecia Metcalf
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Berg
How Well Could Targeted Sequencing Detect Primary Newborn Screening Conditions?
Caitlin Moffatt
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Jeff Sekelsky
Altering Substrate Specificity of the Nuclease GEN
Lyndsey Moore
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Janelle Arthur
Intestinal Fibrosis Driven by a Pathobiont-derived Small Molecule of the Microbiota
Jeremy Morowitz
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Adam Gracz
Mapping 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in the Intestinal Epithelium and Assessing Its Impact on Gene Expression
Rebecca Notini
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Maureen Su
Schwann Cells Promote Peripheral Neuropathy Through Upregulation of Extracellular Matrix Protein Periostin
Danny Oh
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Aravind Asokan
Characterization of a Novel Mutant Virus from the AAV8 Capsid Library for Liver Gene Therapy
Annaleigh Powell
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Kathleen Caron
Investigation of Placental Phenotype in Calcrlfl/fl; Wt1-Cre Mice
Adarsh Rao
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Wolfgang Bergmeier
Flow Cytometric Quantification of RASA3 and CalDAG-GEFI to Determine Platelet Reactivity in Health and Disease 
Carolyn Rapp
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Tim Gershon
Differential Gene Expression in SHH Pathway Inhibition
Zachary Robbe
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Frank Conlon
Identifying the Role of Non-Cardiac Myofibril Isoforms in the Development of Cardiomyopathies
Halle Ronk
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Mark Peifer
Characterizing the Role of Canoe as a Cell Junction-cytoskeletal Linker Protein During Drosophila Morphogenesis
Cathleen Rueckeis
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Sarah Linnstaedt
MicroRNA -19b is a Sex-dependent Regulator of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Widespread Pain
Scottie Sackett
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Joe Kieber
Determining the Role of CLS Genes in the Cytokinin Signaling Pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana
Sophia Shwartz
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Richard Loeser
Regulation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPK) and Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP) by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Secondary Messengers
Leno Smith
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Christina Burch
The Evolution of Phenotypic Diversification in Heterogeneous Microcosms Maintained by a Liquid-handling Robot
Caroline Tarallo
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Frank Conlon
Identifying a Cellular Mechanism of Cardiac Interventricular Septal Formation
Divya Venkatasubramanian
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Joe Kieber
CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Disruption of Genes that Regulate Levels of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylic Acid (ACC) in Arabidopsis thaliana to Study the Role of ACC Signaling in Plants
Judy Wang
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Joe Kieber
Suppressor Screen for New Components of the Cytokinin Signaling Pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana
Kristin Weiss
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Joe Sobsey
Detection and Quantification of Vibrio cholerae in Water Using the Compartment Bag Test
Shan Yu
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Sarah Linnstaedt
Expression Levels of XIST RNA Predict PTSS and Chronic Pain Outcomes in Women Experiencing Motor Vehicle Collision
Chase Yuan
Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Robert Bourret
Examining the Influence of Positions K+1 and K+2 on Response Regulator CheY Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation Reactions