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    Connections Newsletter
    Issue 3                                                                                                                                         Spring Semester 2012


    A Note from the Collaborative Director

    Undergraduate Research: Adjusting to Life at a Liberal Arts College

    2012-2013 McNair Scholars

    Fall-Summer Collaborative Grants

    Convention Spotlight



    • Kaela Gedda
    • Jens Paasen
    • Gretchen Panzer
    • Hannah Schmitt
    • Luanne Spence
    • Sarah Titus

    Collaborative Research Stories

    Important Dates

    May 4, 2012 Student Academic Travel Grant and Attendee Grant applications due


    American Association for Cancer Research Reflection

    Emily Goetz

    Biology Major, Spanish Minor

    I really enjoyed my experience at the AACR conference in Chicago.  Upon arriving at the conference, I was overwhelmed and in awe of the sheer number of people; Dr. Feirer said there were around 30,000!  On Saturday and Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a couple of seminars.  One of them, which was very informative, went through the process of writing and publishing a journal article.  The information I learned will be very helpful if I decide to pursue a career in research and want to publish my findings.  We also attended a seminar by Elizabeth Blackburn on the Roles of the telomere maintenance components in signaling pathways that are implicated in aging and cancer.  Elizabeth Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with telomeres!  One of the pieces of information I learned from her seminar is that life expectancy (the rate at which the telomeres on chromosomes shorten) is affected by both genetics and non-genetic influences such as chronic psychological stress.  I also learned that in cancer cells, while telomeres are shorter than regular body cells, telomerase maintains the telomere essentially making it immortal while the telomeres in the regular body cell will continue to shorten.  Out of the seminars we went to I definitely enjoyed Elizabeth Blackburn’s the most because she spoke in a manner that was easy to follow and the information she presented was very interesting!AACRpic

    We presented our poster on Monday, April 2, from 8:00am-12:00pm.  We took turns standing with the poster and answering the questions of people who came to look over our research.  We had a variety of people ask us about our poster; from graduate students to professors to physicians.  There were also a variety of questions asked about our procedures, the mechanism our treatments affected in the cells, and my favorite, how many grapes a person would have to eat to get the same concentration of resveratrol we were treating our cells with!  A couple of people recommended journal articles for us to read that related to our research, and one man we spoke with offered a lot of advice about graduate school and how to decide whether or not we should pursue a career in research.  We also, from talking to so many different people, have an idea of the direction we would like to take our research in next year!

    While we were not standing with our poster, we were able to walk around the conference area to look at other research posters or visit the vender booths.  There were so many posters!  While I know cancer research is a popular and growing field, I had no idea until I attended the conference truly how large the cancer research field is!  I am so grateful I had the opportunity to attend the AACR conference, and I definitely hope to go again in the future!

    Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Russ Feirer





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