A new class of LFC-RFUMS Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars

Dr. Michelle Hastings of RFUMS is one researcher who often works with LFC-RFUMS summer undergraduate research scholars.
May 12, 2014

The 2014 scholar list comprises seven rising seniors, six juniors, and three sophomores. Eight scholars are planning majors in biology, seven in neuroscience, and one is undeclared. Six are returning for their second summer/year. Four seniors are planning senior theses.

Professor of Biology Shubhik DebBurman co-directs the LFC-RFUMS Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and explained that the students will be working with 13 RFUMS faculty from seven medical school departments. Nine faculty have worked with our students before, and five are new mentors to the program.

This is the sixth year of this program that has provided research opportunities to more than 50 Lake Forest College students since 2009. Many of these graduates have become published scholars with medical school faculty in major journals such as PLoS One, Behavior and Brain Research, Nucleic Acids Research, Biological Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Journal of Neuroscience, and PLoS Genetics.

“I believe that this year has produced our most successful and diverse class of scholars,” DebBurman said. “This one-of-a-kind collaboration between a medical school and a national liberal arts college emphasizes how institutional location and access can give a unique edge to the career development preparation of our large cohort of pre-health students. Since its inception in 2009, the program has expanded our institutional ability to provide high quality research experiences to life science majors, helping meet a heavy demand from our students for such opportunities.”

Several alumni of this program have headed for medical school, PhD programs in Biology, Neuroscience and Psychology, as well as pursuing diverse health professions degrees in optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, public health, and veterinary medicine. Others have become K-12 science teachers or headed for biotech/pharmacuetical careers.

2014 Class of LFC-RFUMS Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars:

Yusuf Ismail ’15 (Mentor: Dr. William Frost, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)

Shannon Lakemacher ’15 (Mentor: Dr. Neelam Sharma-Walia, Dept of Microbiology & Immunology) 

Eddi Moravac ’15 (Mentor: Dr. William Frost, Departmentof Cell Biology and Anatomy) (thesis, neuroscience)

Jason McAloon ’15 (Mentor: Dr. David Everly, Department of Microbiology & Immunology) (thesis, biology)

Jacqueline Meyer ’15 (Mentor: Dr. Kuei Tseng, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology) 
Cecilia Reyes ’15 (Mentor: Dr. Michelle Hastings, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy) (thesis, neuroscience)
Johnathan Vinkavich ’15 (Mentor: Dr. Antony West, Dept of Neuroscience) (thesis, neuroscience)
Katherine Andrews ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Fabio Re, Department of Microbiology & Immunology)
Alexa Hemmer ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Rachel Greenley, Department of Psychology)
Kristopher Korth ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Ronald Kaplan, Departmentof Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Maria Ruiz ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Michelle Hastings, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)
Hannah Samberg ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Amiel Rosenkranz, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology)
Rahul Thakuri ’16 (Mentor: Dr. Robert Marr, Departmentof Neuroscience)
Brittany Avonts ’17 (Mentor: Dr. Amiel Rosenkranz, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology)
Joseph Bortolotti ’17 (Mentor: Dr. Eugene Dimitrov, Department of Physiology and Biophysics)
Kaityln Woodman ’17 (Dr. Joseph Reynolds, Department of Microbiology & Immunology)
-Thanks to the Gorter Foundation that helped fund eight students and the Groner Foundation that funded six scholars this year.
-Thanks to Professor Ronald Kaplan (Vice-President of Research, RFUMS) and all RFUMS colleagues for their generous and sustained support through stipend and research funds, mentoring time, and research training.
-Thanks to President Stephen Schutt and Krebs Provost/Dean of the Faculty Michael Orr for their support in expanding off-campus student research opportunities.
-Thanks to Assistant Professor of Biology Lynn Westley who has served as a co-director of this summer program the past two years.