11-0: A perfect Lake Forest record at Midwest’s premier neuroscience conference
Ashley Reich ’13 and Natalie Kukulka ’13 won Second and Third Prizes, respectively, at the Chicago Society for Neuroscience (CSfN) 2014 meeting’s 11th Annual Undergraduate Poster Competition held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on March 7. This is the eleventh year in a row that a Lake Forest College student has won a research prize at this venue.
Both students are biology and neuroscience double majors who presented their senior theses research at the conference. Both have investigated a long-term complex molecular biology project they initiated their first summer after freshman year.
Reich conducted her research as a LFC-RFUMS fellow for the past three years in Dr. Michelle Hastings’ lab at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and she is already a published author on this ongoing project.
Kukulka began her research as a Richter Scholar in Professor of Biology Shubhik DebBurman’s molecular neuroscience lab. She is currently completing her project towards a manuscript for publication this summer. Natalie plans to pursue a career in academic medicine.
On receiving this honor, Reich commented, “Undergraduate research has always been really important for me to explore since I was a first-year student at Lake Forest. Doing research in Dr. Hastings’ lab has pushed me to think more critically in the lab and in the classroom. Scientific research really excites me, and all I want to do is share new advances in the scientific field with my peers whether that be the research I am doing with Dr. Hastings or the primary articles I read in my classes at Lake Forest. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school for public health studies so I can continue fostering my passion for research and sharing it with the public.”
Two other Lake Forest College students presented their research as well:
Katrina Campbell ’14, biology major and neuroscience major, presented work on Parkinson’s disease she is conducting in the DebBurman lab
Kim Diah ’13, neuroscience and psychology senior, presented her senior thesis that she is conducting in Dr. Kuei Tseng’s lab at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Over forty-five neuroscience, biology and psychology students, including fifteen first-year students, attended this meeting. They were accompanied by Professors Shubhik DebBurman and Naomi Wentworth. The CSfN hosts the largest Midwest neuroscience meeting every year. It is composed of academic and industry-based scientists who are interested in the field of neuroscience.
The following Lake Forest College students have won awards at the conference since 2003:
Sydni Cole ’12, 1st Prize, will begin her medical school at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine or some other institution.
Madhavi Senagolage ’12, 2nd Prize, PhD candidate in biology at Northwestern University
Derek Atchley ’10, 3rd Prize, PhD candidate in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience at Wayne State University
Michael Fiske ’10, 1st Prize, PhD candidate in biology at University of Washington
Ray Choi ’09, 3rd Prize, MD candidate at University of Colorado
Stephanie Valtierra ’08, 2nd Prize, PhD candidate in neuroscience at Northwestern University
Alexandra Ayala ’09, Honorable Mention, math and science teacher, Teach for America
Michael White ’07, 2nd Prize, MD 2012 (now pursuing neurology residency at Washington University)
Michael Zorniak ’07, 3rd Prize, PhD in neuroscience at University of Wisconsin- Madison
Arun Paul ’05, 1st Prize, MD 2012/PhD 2010, RFUMS (Oncology residency at Wayne State)
David Mann ’05, 3rd Prize, MD Ross University (received 2010); MD Residency, Medical College of Wisconsin
Isaac Holmes ’04, 1st Prize, MD (2009) Rush Medical College; MD Residency in cardiology, Rush Medical College (now Chief Resident)
Jillian Hibler ’04, 2nd Prize, DVM 2007, Washington State University
Nijee Sharma ’04, co-3rd prize, MD (2011/PhD 2009) Loyola; MD residency in neurology at University of California Davis
Brandon Johnson ’03, co-3rd prize, PhD (received 2010) and Postdoctoral fellowship, Stanford University