• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/30028_english-_literature.rev.1452013046.png)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/30024_area_studies.rev.1451945934.png)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/30027_self_designed_major.rev.1451946126.png)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/29871_papers.rev.1452013163.png)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/30485_library.rev.1454952369.png)"/>
  • <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/6/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/30025_education.rev.1451945980.png)"/>

DebBurman Lab

Welcome to the D-Lab

We are D-lab Club Yeast. Alpha-Syn is our gene.  Gelling well is our scene.We are D-lab Club Yeast. Alpha-Syn is our gene. Gelling well is our scene.

The Youngest Parkinson’s Disease Lab in the World, where the average trainee age is 19!

nijeebrandonThe D-Lab studies the molecular basis of Parkinson’s Disease. Using yeasts as model organisms, we seek to gain insight into how the misfolding of the Parkinson’s protein alpha-synuclein regulates the disease pathology.  NIH and NSF grants have funded the training of over a hundred undergraduates who contributed to original research advances since 1999, through summer research, the Richter Program, senior theses, independent studies, and research-rich courses.

We seek and attract a diverse group of highly motivated and hardworking undergraduates who collaboratively work on a variety of related projects. Students choose from several ongoing hypothesis-driven projects, and often initiate new questions that lead our lab in new research directions. Students enjoy significant control over experimental aims and design. To test chosen hypotheses, students have developed two types of yeast model systems and utilize contemporary techniques in molecular genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe vast majority of trainees have gone on to pursue PhD, MD, or master degrees in diverse types of health professions. Students routinely present their work at regional and national scientific conferences.  Many work multiple years on their projects and cap it with a senior thesis. Most become published co-authors in research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Several  publish their work in national undergraduate journals and in Eukaryon. Several apply for and receive national grants for undergraduate research, conference participation, and graduate school.  Many have regularly won poster prizes for their research, at the local and national level.

Students interested in working in the lab are encouraged to contact Dr. DebBurman.

Trainee News

The D-lab was proud to host four Richter Scholars (first-year students) and a high school junior from Lake Forest Academy during summer 2017. All of them are planning for neuroscience/biology as their majors and for future biomedical careers.

   
Yoan Ganev ’19
and Chisomo Mwale ’19, both neuroscience majors,  won First and Second Prizes in the undergraduate research competition for presenting their research on Parkinson’s disease in yeasts models at the 2017 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting. Both are is planning to pursue MD degrees after graduation.

  
Emily Ong ’17
, neuroscience major, and Rosemary Thomas ’18, neuroscience and biology major, each won individual Second Prizes in the undergraduate research competition for presenting their research on Parkinson’s disease in yeasts models at the 2016 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting. Both are is planning to pursue MD degrees after graduation.


Paul Jones ’18, a neuroscience junior, has received a  2016 Nu Rho Psi research grant to investigate potential risk factors linked to sporadic Parkinson’s disease. Paul is planning to be a train to be a physician scientist (MD/PhD) and pursue a career in academic medicine.


Emily Ong ’17,
 a neuroscience senior, has received a 2016 Parkinson’s Disease Foundation summer grant (one of ten awards from a national pool of 60+ applications from medical, graduate, and undergraduate students). For her senior thesis, Emily investigated how newly identified familial mutants of alpha-synuclein cause Parkinson’s disease in yeast models, for which received distinction and honors and in neuroscience and the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award. Emily hopes to attend medical school after working in biomedical research for 1-2 years.

Morgan Marshall ’16, a biology major with an Art minor, won the First Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her senior research project on new familial mutants of the parkinson’s disease protein at the 2016 Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting on April 8.   Morgan is planning for a future career  that combines her two passions (science and art) after working for 1-2 years in full-time biomedical research at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.


Saul Bello Rojas ’16,
a neuroscience major with a chemistry minor, won the Second Prize  in the undergraduate research competition for presenting his research on the  properties of naturally occuring alpha-synuclein variants at the 2015 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting. Saul is planning to pursue PhD studies in pharmacology and has worked as aresearch technologist in the Opthamology Department at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Saul is currently enrolled in the post-baccalaureate PREP program at Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience program.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA





Alexandra Roman ’16
, a neuroscience major with minors in chemistry and music, has received a 2015 Nu Rho Psi summer grant (one of just two awards made annually). She also won the Third Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her Richter fellowship initiated research at the 2015 (March 20, 2015).  Alex is currently a research technician at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and is planning to be a physician.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA







Charles Alvarado ’16,
a neuroscience major with an educational studies minor, won the First Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting his research on the  effects of c-terminal truncations of alpha-synuclein at the 2014 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting on June 13.   Charles completed his Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from Lake Forest College in 2017 and is currently applying for high school science teacher positions.







Maiwase Tembo ’15,
a biology and neuroscience double major, won the First Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein at the 2013 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting (June 14, 2013).  More recently, she has also won the Third Prize  in the undergraduate research competition at the 2014 Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting meeting (April 4, 2014).  Wase is pursuing a PhD in Life Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA







Katrina Campbell ’14,
 a biology major and neuroscience minor, won the Second Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her Richter fellowship initiated research at the 2012 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting (June 19, 2012).  Katie completed an NIH IRTA fellowship at the NIH-NIAID Rocky Mountain Labs between 2014-2016 and is pursuing a PhD program in Neuroscience starting fall 2016 at Northwestern University.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA







Natalie Kukulka ’13,
 a biology and neuroscience graduate, has received a 2013 Parkinson’s Disease Foundation summer grant (one of 15 awards from a national pool of 60+ applications from medical, graduate, and undergraduate students). She also won the Third Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her Richter fellowship initiated research at the 2013 Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting meeting (March 7, 2013).  Natalie worked at Northwestern Children’s Memorial Hospital doing biomedical research in urology for two years and is now pursuing her MD studies at the University of Missouri (Columbia).

madhavi

 

 

 




Madhavi Senagolage ’12
, a biology senior with minors in neuroscience and chemistry from Colombo Sri Lanka, has received a competitive  2011 FUN (Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience) Undergraduate Travel Award to present her senior thesis research at the annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting to be held in Washington (DC) from November 11-16. At this meeting, she presented a science education poster on Eukaryon as its Publication Board Chair. She also co-presented with Daniella Brutman ’12 another science education poster on the 2010 Brain Awareness Week at Lake Forest College. Previously, she received the 2nd Prize at the 2011 Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting. She was also awarded a undergraduate research travel award from the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) to present  her Parkinson’s disease project on endocytosis at the 2010 ASCB meeting in Philadelphia (Dec 11-14). Madhavi is currently pursuing a PhD in life sciences at Northwestern University.

undefined





Keith Solvang ’11,
 a biology 2011 graduate, won the First Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting his Parkinson’s disease research at the 2011 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting (June 10, 2011). He was supported by an summer fellowship from the 2009-10 NIH American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to conduct his Parkinson’s Disease research project. Keith completed a Masters degree in biomedical sciences  and his MD degree at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences  in 2017. He is currently an emergency medicine resident in a Chicago Area Hospital.

undefined





Alina Konnikova ’11
, a biology senior from Vernon Hills Illinois, won the First Prize in the undergraduate research competition for presenting her Parkinson’s disease research on autophagy at the 2010 Great Lakes Chapter American Society of Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics meeting (June 19, 2010). Alina has completed her MD studies at the University of Illinois School of Medicine and is pursing her residency at Medical College of Wisconsin.

undefined





Jaime Perez ’10
 graduated with a biology and art double major and was the 2009-10 Foster G McGaw Scholar at the college and received the 2009 Lincoln Laureate Award.  He received his Masters degree in graduate  in Prosthetics and Orthotics at University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center and completed his residency in orthotic and prosthetics in Boston (MA). He is now working in Chicago, Illinois as an orthotist at the Hanger Clinic.

michael fiske at ASBMB2010







Michael Fiske ’10
, a biology 2010 graduate and a Barry Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention, won the First Prize for his Parkinson’s research senior thesis project at the national undergraduate poster competition of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) held in Anaheim California (April 24-28, 2010). He was also a UAN-ASBMB undergraduate travel award recipient from ASBMB. He conducted his senior thesis with a research grant he received from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation,  for which he received the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award. Michael initially pursuing his PhD in biology at the University of Washington, where he was awarded Honorable Mention on his NSF predoctoral grant application in 2011.  He is currently pursuing his PhD in Neuroscience at Northwestern University, and he was just awarded an NIH-NRSA grant in 2016 to fund his PhD studies.