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Lenoir-Rhyne University students present research at annual conference, win awards
Lenoir-Rhyne University students present research at annual conference, win awards

Faculty members of Lenoir-Rhyne University's School of Natural Sciences accompanied nine students to the 116th Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Science, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington March 22-23, 2019. NCAS encourages the advancement of science within the state of North Carolina by promotion of scientific research and by the fostering of education in the sciences.

"Participation in the North Carolina Academy of Science event is a long-standing tradition of the Lenoir-Rhyne School of Natural Sciences and we had a terrific presence," said Marsha Fanning, Ph.D., chair of the School of Natural Sciences. "Our LR students' research projects are examples of the exceptional work that our students were able to exhibit at the state conference. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments."

The following LR students presented the findings of their research at the meeting:

John Amodeo, a December 2018 graduate with a bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in chemistry from Hickory, North Carolina, placed second in his division. He presented his research on "The Development of Alzheimer's Disease Based Upon the Misfolding and Fibrillization of Beta-amyloid Peptide (Aβ) in the Cerebral Cortex."

Samuel Melnyk, senior biology major with a minor in chemistry from Newton, North Carolina, participated in an oral presentation titled "Ectopic TET2 in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cell Lines Significantly Reduces Cell Proliferation Rates." The results were part of Melnyk's research that he began at Augusta University when he was selected for the STAR Program, a nine-week summer experience that provides hands-on biomedical research for outstanding future researchers.

Hannah Snyder, senior biology major from High Point, North Carolina, recently received the Yarbrough Grant for her research "Testing Overall Allergenicity of Peanut Proteins After Thermal Processing." The Yarbrough Research Grants program supports undergraduate research by providing small grants to students who submit grant proposals judged meritorious of support. Approximately four grants are awarded annually.

Madelyn Suddreth, senior chemistry major from Taylorsville, North Carolina, placed third in the chemistry division of her presentation "The Effects of Brewing Technique on Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid Content in Starbucks Sumatra Coffee." Besides the demands of her major and research, Suddreth recently earned South Atlantic Conference All-Conference Second Team for the LR women's basketball team.

Josiah Waters, senior biology major from Hickory, North Carolina, presented his research on "The Effects of Sunscreen on the Symbiotic Relationship between Chlorella and Green Hydra, Hydra viridissima." His research was prompted by his love for diving.

In addition, four Catawba County students gained valuable knowledge as they prepare for their research presentations at next year's event, which will be hosted by LR. They include: Kabre Heck, senior medical studies major, Hickory; Sydney Karre, junior biology major, Newton; and Sarah Leon, junior biology major, and Emily Maxfield, junior chemistry major, both from Conover. At the conference, Leon was also elected secretary of the Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Science.

LR students have worked on these projects throughout the academic year under the guidance of LR faculty including: Fanning, Daniel Grimm, Ph.D., Leslie Heffron, Ph.D., Judy Moore, Ph.D., Josh Ring, Ph.D., Scott Schaefer, Ph.D., Andy Steele, Ph.D., Michael Stiff, Ph.D., and Carly York, Ph.D.

Editor's Note: (pictured left to right) Madelyn Suddreth, Hannah Snyder, Josiah Waters, John Amodeo and Samuel Melnyk.

Photo by Dr. Marsha Fanning, Lenoir-Rhyne University