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					                                                                                        SUMMER, 2012

                                   The Newsletter of the ASBMB Undergraduate Affiliate Network

Inside This Issue:                                   14 This year’s inductees to the ASBMB
                                                        Biochemistry and Molecular Biology National
ARTICLES                                                Honor Society (Chi Omega Lambda)
                                                     15 Pouring from the BECUR once again: A recap
3 Throwing them off the end of the dock:                of the annual UA student research
   College freshmen at the 2012 ASBMB Annual            conference
4 Effectively communicating your science at          RESOURCES
   Experimental Biology 2012
6 An undergraduate’s travelogue to EB2012            17 Graduate School Corner: Louisiana State
7 How to ramp up for an ASBMB Annual                    University Health Sciences Center School of
   Meeting                                              Graduate Studies
8 A rhetoric for research: The effectiveness         18 Book Review: Rosalind Franklin: The Dark
   of open discussions during the poster                Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox
   presentations                                     19 Molecules in Motion: Animated movie
9 Your guide to San Diego’s best fish tacos             reviews
16 An interdisciplinary approach to science          20 UAN Committee & issue contributors
   education: How undergraduates at the
   University of Richmond are taught to think
                                                     Interface: The importance of
   corroboratively in IQS
                                                     communicating science
NEWS                                                 By Rebekah Waikel, Ph.D., Associate Professor,
                                                     Eastern Kentucky University
11 The 2012 ASBMB Undergraduate Poster
   Competition Winners and Honorable                 Congratulations to all of the undergraduate
   Mentions                                          attendees, presenters, and mentors at the
12 The 2012 Outstanding UAN Chapter Award            national 2012 ASBMB Annual Meeting. We
   Winners                                           had a record number of undergraduate poster
14 Inaugural Chi Omega Lambda induction              presenters participate in the Undergraduate
   ceremony held at MMM                              Poster Competition. Several of the articles

                                                                       continued on next page...
in this issue focus on student experiences at      addition to learning to write and speak about
EB2012. Tim Carter of St. John’s University        science, a key to student success in reaching the
describes the experiences of his science           non-science public is effectively utilizing the
immersion students, a unique program, which        media available to them. In the past, popular
allows high achieving freshman to experience       science books, magazines, newspapers, and
science at the national level. Student authors:    TV shows were the ways scientists reached
Srona Sengupta of Johns Hopkins University,        out to the public. Scientists today have even
Arian Frost of Colorado College, and Shannon       more outlets to reach the masses, including
Biello of the University of Richmond describe      social media: Twitter, Facebook, and blog sites.
their experiences preparing for and attending      Most national science organizations and many
the national meeting, including some lessons       science clubs have Facebook pages. These
learned. Ms. Biello also contributes an article    pages could easily be extended to the general
about her experiences in the University of         public. It is important for educators to show
Richmond’s Integrated Quantitative Science         students meaningful ways to use social media
pilot program, which combines biology,             to communicate science.
chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer
science into one program of study.                 Educators in the ASBMB community are using
                                                   service learning to enhance their science
Student author Ajay Major, contributes two         courses. Service learning is the teaching
diverse articles to this issue of Enzymatic, a     strategy, which utilizes meaningful community
fun and useful article on finding the best fish    service to enrich a learning objective/
tacos in San Diego and an article discussing the   experience. Service learning is an excellent
importance of good scientific communication,       way to teach future scientists to communicate
focusing on the “Effectively Communicating         with the public. My undergraduate students
Your Science” panel discussion. Major              especially enjoy service learning projects
reports that the panel stresses that science       involving K-12 students. This past academic
communication is more than communicating           year, my molecular biology students paired with
with other scientists, it is also essential to     K-12 classrooms to do workshops on biofuels.
communicate with the non-science public.           Workshops involved both oral presentations
                                                   and hands-on activities for the K-12 students.
As scientists, it is a given that we communicate   This year, my students will also add a social
well with other scientists to advance our fields   media platform to their service learning
of study. What isn’t as obvious to scientists is   projects.
the great need to interface with the general
public. The non-science public comprise of the     We are excited to include so many
majority of the votes to elect our politicians,    undergraduate contributors in this issue of
who decide science policy and funding              Enzymatic. These students are well on their way
levels for national science agencies. It is also   to become effective scientific communicators.
important to have a science literate public, who
can make better daily decisions about their
health care and energy usage.
As educators, it is important for us to include
communicating with the non-science public
as part of our learning objective to teach
students effective scientific communication. In

Throwing them off the end of the                    make better-informed decisions about possible
dock: College freshmen at the 2012                  career paths.
ASBMB Annual Meeting
                                                    Attending the meeting confronts them with
                                                    the hottest research areas, the best scientists,
By Tim Carter, Ph.D., St. John’s University
                                                    and the latest discoveries, all coming at them
                                                    in a tidal wave. In Zhu’s words, “like little E. coli
At this year’s meeting, senior Biology student
                                                    waiting to be transformed with new genes, the
Tongtong Zhu had three goals: help mentor
                                                    students first have to be shocked so they can
the six freshmen from St. John’s coming to the
                                                    better assimilate transformative knowledge.”
meeting for the first time, present at the UAN
student poster competition, and enjoy some of
                                                    The career session on MD-PhD training was
California’s famous sunshine. Failing the latter,
                                                    a popular choice for these ambitious high-
there was still plenty for him to do.
                                                    achievers. “I learned that I can be a scientist and
                                                    a human being at the same time,” said freshman
Having attended national conferences as a
                                                    Kevin Kaprowski. “I always knew I wanted to do
yearly ritual since he was a freshman, includ-
                                                    research, but I wasn’t sure whether I should do
ing two meetings of the American Association
                                                    a Ph.D. or an M.D. Now I’m confident that both
for Cancer Research and the ASBMB meeting in
                                                    options can work.”
Washington, D.C. last year, this time around, Zhu
felt like an old hand.
                                                    Besides the career presentations, most agreed
                                                    that the posters were a highlight, providing
                                                    them opportunities to engage scientists at vari-
                                                    ous levels personally. At the symposia, “some
                                                    of the talks are way out of reach for us,” said
                                                    Kaprowski. “It’s easy to lose the main message
                                                    in the details.” But as his classmate Sai Phyo
                                                    pointed out, “they are here first of all to commu-
                                                    nicate with their peers.”

                                                    After attending the Alice and CC Wang Award
                                                    symposium together, the entire group was
                                                    thrilled to be able to take the Wangs out to din-
                                                    ner and to see that even scientists at this level
                                                    are people who care about them as neophytes
This year, twelve undergraduate students from
                                                    and want to encourage their involvement in the
St. John’s made the trip to San Diego. Half of
them were freshmen. The rest were upperclass-
man who had been part of St. John’s science
                                                    The exhibit hall was also a hit, but for a some-
immersion experience since their first year of
                                                    what different reason. It’s all free goodies that
college. The idea behind this unusual model is
                                                    make exhibits such a popular activity for stu-
that by introducing the best students early in
                                                    dents. As one freshman put it, “it was really a
their undergraduate careers to the greater com-
                                                    mind-blowing experience to see all the compa-
munity of biomedical science, they can place
                                                    nies offering tools to help improve the ways we
their academic life in a broader context and
                                                    do science.”

                                                                       continued on next page...
                                                      Effectively communicating your
                                                      science at Experimental Biology 2012

                                                      By Ajay Major, Union College, Schenectady, New

                                                      From diverse talks revealing novel targets for
                                                      cardiovascular disease therapies to posters
                                                      lauding the success of STEM pipeline programs,
                                                      one common theme saturated the 2012
Tim Carter (sporting a double helix tattoo courtesy   Experimental Biology conference in less-than-
of the ASBMB tattoo parlor) is St. John’s Univer-     sunny San Diego: effectively communicating
sity UAN chapter advisor, teaches introductory        your science.
cell and molecular biology to Freshmen and then
brings them to the ASBMB annual meeting with          As Nobel Laureate and biochemist Dr. Paul
financial support from a generous alumnus, An-        Berg stated in the session of the same name
thony Tufaro, M.D.                                    organized by the ASBMB, “each of you in the
                                                      lab has to think more broadly than just your
                                                      results. You must think, what is the impact of my
Scenes from the meeting                               research, how will I report it, how will I defend
                                                      what I’m doing.”

                                                      Among the panel of speakers were Berg, NPR
                                                      science correspondent Joe Palca; Deputy
                                                      Director of Practices, Synthetic Biology
                                                      Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) and
                                                      science communicator, Megan J. Palmer; and
                                                      Huffington Post science correspondent and
                                                      neuroscientist, Cara Santa Maria.
Students presenting their posters at the annual
undergraduate poster competition.                     For most scientists, effective communication
                                                      means good grant-writing, approved journal
                                                      article submissions, and giving a helpful
                                                      presentation to fellow researchers and students.
                                                      In fact, these comprise only one portion of
                                                      effective communication. “Equally important is
                                                      how we present our science to the public,” said

                                                      Cara Santa Maria argued that “we have to talk
                                                      about science in a way that is palatable for the
                                                      general public. How does this affect people?
                                                      Why is it important for people to know?”
Participants at the 2nd annual HOPES workshop.

                                                                       continued on next page...
Although seemingly simple questions, Santa             This active engagement in the communication
Maria explained that scientists are hesitant to        process also reveals one of the foremost
answer them when approached by journalists.            misconceptions that scientists have about the
                                                       non-science world: the need to ‘dumb down’
“There is an old guard, new guard approach             science to be understood.
to science communication. Scientists have
fear and uneasiness when talking to science            “You don’t have to ‘dumb down’ your research to
communicators, especially when using                   speak to a wider audience,” said Santa Maria.
new media,” said Santa Maria. “But science             “Don't underestimate your audience's
communicators and scientists are on the                intelligence, but do underestimate their
same team! It’s a fundamentally important              vocabulary. Using big words doesn't make you
relationship that should be nurtured.”                 smarter. It just means you can say more in less
                                                       time,” she said.
The panel explained that this fear stems
from the feeling that a scientist is putting           The third and final step is to practice. “You’re not
his or her reputation on the line when                 going to be good off the bat,” confessed Palmer.
speaking to reporters. Ironically, this                “But you will get better at communication
approach to communication leads to the very            through practice.”
miscommunication that breeds this fear.
                                                       The panel agreed that reaching out to
“But, how do we do all that?” asked an audience        journalists is an excellent way to practice
member. “Learn about the system, become a              effectively communicating your science, but
better listener, and practice,” answered Palmer.       was divided over the use of blogging and social
                                                       media as part of effective communication, with
The first step to effectively communicating            Berg asserting that it was “self-promoting” while
your science is to understand that, for science        Palca said it allows scientists to get their science
journalists, the heart of your science is the story.   to the public “exactly right.”
To meet this need, scientists need to construct
a research story as part of their communication        Blogging aside, it was universally agreed that it
with the public.                                       is a scientist’s duty to effectively communicate
                                                       their science to advocate for issues that are
“You have to become a storyteller,” said               important to the public and to enhance the
Executive Communication Coach at The                   scientific literacy of our culture.
Communication Center Nan Tolbert. “Not only
do you have to have good science behind your           “People think science is a noun, not a verb,”
story, but you have to portray your science            explained Santa Maria. “People think science
accurately throughout your story.”                     is why the sky is blue, rather than how we
                                                       describe it.”
The second step is to critically listen to good
communicators in the scientific community.             Ajay Major is a graduating senior from Union
Joe Palca summarized the point succinctly:             College who just finished a two-year tenure as
“Scientists: stop dissing scientists who               editor-in-chief of the Union College student
communicate well with the public!”                     newspaper, the Concordiensis.

An undergraduate's travelogue to                       of San Diego just a few blocks from the
EB2012                                                 convention center. Perhaps the best meals
                                                       I had were the huge breakfasts at The
By Srona Sengupta, Johns Hopkins University            Broken Yolk, a local diner where you can
                                                       order anything from Tijuana street tacos to
Experimental Biology was my first national             strawberry waffles. A filling morning meal
conference, large poster competition, and visit        before very full conference days was key
to California. There were many exciting new            because the convention center itself had
things to take in. Here is a summary of what I         very few (and pricey) lunch options.
learned during my fantastic time in San Diego,
some of which I hope will be useful to those        3. Lodge atypically: Although there are
attending EB2013 and 2014 (when it will return         many hotels around the convention center,
to San Diego).                                         I stayed in a condo that my PI and her
                                                       colleague rented from locals. For three
1. Prepare well, stay organized, and learn:            people staying six nights, this turned
   When making your poster, start early,               out to be much more cost-effective and
   present it as a story, and be sure to practice      comfortable than even the best hotel suite.
   in front of faculty/researchers unfamiliar          We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a
   with your work.                                     full kitchen, washer/dryer, balcony, Wi-Fi,
                                                       and a prime location within five minutes
   The ballroom where the poster competition           of the convention center. Needless to say,
   is held will have hundreds of posters and           my stay felt very much like a home away
   presenters. It’s intimidating, which means          from home, and I’d definitely recommend
   practicing your presentation in advance is          this lodging option if you can work out the
   key to success. I stopped noticing the scale        logistics in advance with your PI.
   of the session once I started talking about
   my work. After I did it once, I wanted to        4. Don’t drive: Unless you’re a local or live
   present again and again. This turned out to         less than an hour away, I don’t recommend
   be really fun.                                      driving to the convention center. It is
                                                       hard enough weaving through traffic and
   Apart from the poster competition, the              pedestrians on a typical day downtown (in
   conference itself has more than 10,000              any city), now imagine adding ten thousand
   participants, so organization is crucial in         more people!
   scheduling your day. The EB itinerary builder
   (available free online and as an app for         5. Explore downtown: The area near the
   smart phones) and the meeting program               convention center was bustling with
   you will receive on site are great resources        activity and made for very interesting
   to help you get organized. Jot down some            people watching. Some of the more
   notes about the cool science you will hear.         memorable sights and sounds I witnessed
   Be brave and talk to researchers whose work         were rickshaws, bagpipe-players, girls
   you enjoy.                                          with taped-on moustaches (your guess
                                                       is as good as mine), and a toweled guy
2. Eat breakfast: As a food enthusiast, I very         singing “Sweet Caroline” on a balcony at
   much appreciated that there were many,              seven in the morning. While this isn’t very
                                                       representative of all San Diego, I will say that

   many restaurants in the Gaslamp District

                                                                      continued on next page...
    the downtown area is impressively lively             How to ramp up for an ASBMB Annual
    both during the day and at night.                    Meeting
6. Pack some layers: San Diego is not                    By Arian Frost, Colorado College
   necessarily warm, and the Weather Channel
   is not necessarily accurate. I over-packed            Being a young scientist can be an exciting and
   as usual but this time it served me well.             invigorating adventure, but along the way, we
   A jacket was useful for both inside the               also face challenges, frustrations and difficulties.
   convention center and walking outside at              In my experience, research has been the
   night.                                                exciting and invigorating part of this journey.
                                                         The difficulties come with experimentation, and
7. Bring sneakers: EB is only 5 brief days. I            by far the most challenging and intimidating
   was on east coast time throughout my stay,            part has been attending conferences and
   which made it easy to wake up at 6:30 a.m.            learning how to share the knowledge I’ve
   and temporarily become a morning person.              gained.
   If, like me, this is a rare treat for you, take
   advantage of it. Had I planned on this, I             The first conference I ever attended was the
   would have brought some sneakers for a                North American Calorimetry Conference in
   morning jog!                                          Colorado Springs. At that time, I had only been
                                                         doing research for a few months, it seemed
Next year in Boston, east coasters won’t have            like a cruel joke to have to present in front of
such luck. And those flying in from the west             graduate students and senior scientists when I
coast will need to be prepared to adjust. If             was still trying to understand the mountain of
your budget can afford it, flying in one day in          data I had collected.
advance might be helpful.
                                                          If you’ve ever been to a music festival, the way
I was fortunate to have experienced San Diego             you structure your day is very similar; you need
and Experimental Biology for the first time               to put together a daily itinerary so that you
in a really fantastic way. How you plan and               don’t miss anything talks or events.
ultimately take this trip will affect the quality of
your experience. To that end, I hope some of my          At that conference I learned three important
suggestions will help you get the most out of EB         things: that people are kind, it’s okay to say you
this time next year in Boston!                           don’t know something, and presenting a poster
                                                         is not as intimidating as I had imagined. Of
                                                         course, that didn’t stop me from being terrified
                                                         at the next meeting I attended, the Midstates
                                                         Consortium for Math and Science.

                                                         My most recent conference experience is
                                                         at this year’s ASBMB Annual Meeting in San
                                                         Diego. When I attended this meeting last year
                                                         in Washington, D.C., I felt overwhelmed by the
                                                         number and caliber of scientists at the meeting.
                                                         In D.C., I focused only on my own poster
Srona Sengupta is a graduating senior from Johns

Hopkins University. Above: Sengupta (middle) receiving
the 2012 Undergraduate Poster Competition Best Poster                      continued on next page...
Award in the Cell Signaling Category from Mark Wallert
(left) and Phil Ortiz (right).
presentation and didn’t take advantage of all        A rhetoric for research: the
the other scientific talks and social events that    Effectiveness of open discussions
the meeting had to offer. This year, having had
                                                     during poster presentations
three meetings under my belt, I felt much better
                                                     By Shannon Biello, Junior, University of Richmond
It’s important to be organized in order to see all
that you possibly can at this meeting. If you’ve
                                                     While on the airplane with about thirty other
ever been to a music festival, the way you
                                                     poster-holders traveling to the ASBMB Annual
structure your day is very similar; you need to
                                                     Meeting in San Diego this year, I overheard
put together a daily itinerary so that you don’t
                                                     an undergraduate attempting to explain her
miss anything talks or events.
                                                     research to a couple sitting next to her. Down
                                                     playing her research findings, she finished
Because the ASBMB Annual Meeting is part of
                                                     simply with, “well, it’s not really that big of a
the annual Experimental Biology meeting, it’s
                                                     deal.” Disappointingly, this is a typical response
possible to spend all day listening to talks on
                                                     from undergraduate students when asked
a wide variety of subjects including nutrition,
                                                     about their work.
anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology.
                                                     I find that large meetings like Experimental
 There are also endless opportunities to connect
                                                     Biology (EB) are integral in demonstrating
 with scientists in your field or in areas you may
                                                     the significance of even the simplest
 be interested in studying in the future.
                                                     experimentation. A meeting like this provides
                                                     a forum in which students, researchers,
There are also endless opportunities to connect
                                                     professors, and other scientific professionals
with scientists in your field or in areas you may
                                                     trade ideas, and generate open, and
be interested in studying in the future. For
                                                     subsequently expedient, discussions.
undergraduates, the meeting is a uniquely
perfect environment to make connections with
                                                     For instance, Sarah Rhoads (fourth year student
your peers, as well as potential mentors and
                                                     at the University of Richmond), was approached
                                                     by a senior scientist during her poster
                                                     presentation who was interested in Rhoads’
I highly recommend attending smaller
                                                     research in regards to neuronal regulation.
local and regional meetings as early in your
                                                     After summarizing her work, Rhoads and the
undergraduate career as you can in order
                                                     senior scientist went on to discuss his research
to strengthen your presentation and public
                                                     in detail, exchanging ideas back and forth. In
speaking skills. And every student who
                                                     the end, the professor offered to send Rhoads
is interested in continuing in science and
                                                     his own research work. This is demonstrative of
contributing to the scientific community should
                                                     how potentially valuable the connections that
attend the ASBMB Annual Meeting. I hope to
                                                     are made at a large scientific meeting such as
see you in Boston in 2013!

                                                     Similar conversations permeated the
                                                     large exhibit hall of the convention center
                                                     throughout the meeting. Everywhere there
                                                     were students with anxious yet determined

                                                                       continued on next page...
expressions on their faces, relaying their work    Your guide to finding San Diego’s best
to an audience of knowledgeable scientists         fish taco
who listened with attentive curiosity, positing
questions here and there in an effort to fully     Ajay Major, Union College, Schenectady, New York
grasp the work.
                                                   The fish taco is a pedestrian treat, combining
This type of dialogue is necessary in the realm
                                                   the most humble of ingredients into a
of research. Scientists, both undergraduates and
                                                   scrumptious street delicacy. A chunk of fish,
tenured professors alike, benefit from coming
                                                   a smattering of sauce, and a dash of spice all
together in an atmosphere that allows for the
                                                   wrapped up in a crispy corn tortilla. And, let’s
fluid exchange of ideas.
                                                   face it, San Diego simply has the best fish tacos
                                                   a dollar can buy. Whether you’re paying your
An undergraduate attending EB learns that the
                                                   own way to Experimental Biology or have one
most important outcome of presenting research
                                                   of those credit cards from your institution, the
is to have it questioned and analyzed by other
                                                   fish taco is a smart and economical solution
members of the scientific community. From this
                                                   to your post-workshop hunger pangs. Let’s
open discussion, new ideas are generated and
                                                   embark on a culinary adventure across sunny
different pathways are encouraged.
                                                   San Diego, and all within walking distance of
                                                   the convention center.

                                                   Our first stop: The Fish Market (below), is just a
                                                   15-minute walk along the harbor.

                                                   The name is a bit deceiving—it’s a market, to-go
                                                   joint, and a formal restaurant all in one, jutting
Above: Judges reviewing posters at the annual      out into the North Harbor with beautiful 360
undergraduate poster competition.                  degree views of sea, surf, and a real-life aircraft

                                                                     continued on next page...
                                                      Diego’s best modern takes on seafood classics.
                                                      The grilled swordfish taco I ordered was no
                                                      exception (pictured below).

The to-go window (above), is chock-full of
seafood and fish fillets of every variety. I
ordered their signature crispy fish taco (pictured
                                                      Although a bit pricey at $14, the Escape’s fish
below), filled with Pacific Ono, chipotle ranch,
                                                      taco receives an incredible five out of five stars.
salsa fresco, and a bowl of black bean soup on
                                                      The melt-in-your-mouth swordfish paired with a
the side.
                                                      delightfully tangy sauce and pickled slaw makes
                                                      for a four-star fish taco. Even the side of potato
                                                      salad was delectable, a totally unexpected
                                                      blend of potato and herbs that married well
                                                      with the thick cut of swordfish.

                                                      Our final stop: The Tin Fish (below), is hardly a
                                                      stone’s throw from the convention center and
                                                      San Diego’s PETCO Field.

This fish taco from The Fish Market gets four out
of five stars. A total steal at $9.75, these tacos
have a surprising heat that is not for the faint of
palates. The Hawaiian fish is lightly breaded and
perfectly cooked, with a cool tomato salsa that
perfectly complements the spicy sauce. The
black bean soup, on the other hand, has little
to be desired; skip it and go straight for this
delicious taco, instead.
                                                      A convenient option for conference-goers, the
Our second stop: the Escape Fish Bar, is located
                                                      Tin Fish offers your usual seafood fare, including
                            right in the heart
                                                      their staple, the fried fish taco. Unfortunately, at
                            of San Diego’s
                                                      only $6.75, you get what you pay for at The Tin
                            historic Gaslamp
                                                      Fish: a meager two out of five stars.
                            Quarter. This
                            place is a true
                            joint that serves
                            up some of San

                                                                continued on next page...
                                                   The 2012 ASBMB Undergraduate
                                                   Poster Competition Winners and
                                                   Honorable Mentions

                                                   Poster Award Winners

                                                   •   Michael Brister, University of Delaware,
                                                       Protein & Enzymes Best Poster Award
                                                   •   Caitlin Peirce, Hope College, Systems
                                                       Biology Best Poster Award
These tacos are bland and overly fried, the slaw
                                                   •   Srona Sengupta, Johns Hopkins University,
is just the same old slaw, and the waffle fries
                                                       Cell Signaling Best Poster Award
are too salty. If you are strapped for cash and
                                                   •   Rebekah Wieland, Mount Holyoke College,
time, The Tin Fish is an option; otherwise, make
                                                       Nucleic Acids Best Poster Award
the extra five minute walk for some seriously
delicious seafood.

                                                   Best poster award winners at the 2012 ASBMB Exemplary
                                                   Contributions to Educaiton Award Lecture. From left
                                                   to right, Donald and Judith Voet, Caitlin Pierce, Michael
                                                   Brister, Rebekah Wieland, Drs. Mark Wallert, Phil Ortiz, and
                                                   Kathleen Cornely.

                     Follow UAN                        Honorable Mentions in the Cell Signaling
                          on                       •   Amy Deng, Winthrop University
                      Facebook!                    •
                                                       Kelly Folkers, Denison University
                                                       Soma Jobbagy, University of Delaware
                                                   •   Emerson Khost, Marymount Manhattan

                                                   Honorable Mentions in the Nucleic Acid
                                                   • Jasmine Haller, Hendrix College
                                                   • Allison O’Connell, Colorado College

                                                               continued on next page...
•   Sang Joon Won, University of Wisconsin-                  The 2012 Outstanding UAN Chapter
    Madison                                                  Awards
•   Christopher Wright, University of Delaware
                                                             Outstanding National Chapter - Otterbein
Honorable Mentions in the Protein and
Enzymes Category
                                                             Faculty Advisor - John Tansey, Ph.D.
• John Chavis, University of Maryland,
   Baltimore County
• Kathryn Colelli, College of Holy Cross
• Breanna Kalmeta, Rochester Institute of
• Matthew Mauseth, University of Wisconsin-
   La Crosse

Honorable Mentions in the Systems Biology
• Grant Barber, University of Wisconsin-
• Alice Cai, University of Arizona                           Above, Otterbein College students with John Tansey
• Nicholas Hazekamp, Hope College                            (right) receiving the Outstanding National Chapter Award
• Lyana Labrada, University of Delaware
                                                             South-Central Region Outstanding Chapter
                                                             Award - Tulane University
                                                             Faculty Advisor - Nancy Hopkins, Ph.D.

2012 UGPC Honorable Mentions. From left to right: Amy
Deng, Kelly Folkers, Jasmine Haller, Kathryn Colelli, Soma
Jobaggy, Lyana Labrada, Christopher Wright, Sang Joon
Won, Emerson Khost, Grant Barber, Breanna Kalmeta, and
Matthew Mauseth.
                                                             Above, Nancy Hopkins (middle) receiving the South-
                                                             Central Regional Award from Mark Wallert and Phil Ortiz.

                                                                        continued on next page...
Southeast Region Outstanding Chapter
Award Winner - University of Puerto Rico, Rio            2012-13 UAN CALENDAR
Faculty Advisor - Carlos Gonzalez, Ph.D.                August 20, 2012

Southwest Region Outstanding Chapter                    ASBMB begins accepting online UAN
Award Winner - Colorado College                         membership applications and renewals.
Faculty Advisor - Neena Grover, Ph.D.
                                                        Fall, 2012
Northeast Region Outstanding Chapter
Award - University of Delaware                          ASBMB Education and Professional
                                                        Development (EPD) and UAN committees
                                                        annual fall retreat.

                                                        November 5, 2012

                                                        Last day to renew/apply for UAN membership
                                                        and still qualify for UAN Travel Awards to

                                                        November 8, 2012

                                                        Last day to submit undergraduate poster
Above, University of Delaware UAN students and Hal      abstracts to EB2013 and still qualify for UAN
White (3rd from right) receiving the Northeast Region   Travel Awards.
Outstanding Chapter Award.
                                                        November 30, 2012

                                                        Last day to renew/apply for UAN membership
                                                        for the 2012-13 school year.

                                                        January 31, 2013

                                                        Last day to nominate UAN students to Chi
                                                        Omega Lambda.

                                                        February 8, 2013

                                                        Last day to apply for/designate UAN Non-
                                                        Competitive Travel Awards.

                                                        March 1, 2012

                                                        Last day to apply for UAN Outstanding
                                                        Chapter Award

Inaugural Chi Omega Lambda                         This year’s inductees to the ASBMB
induction ceremony held at MMM                     Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
                                                   National Honor Society (Chi Omega
By Ann Aguanno, Ph.D., Marymount Manhattan         Lambda)
                                                   •   Meryl Brune, Drake University
Marymount Manhattan College (MMC)                  •   Dan DuBreuil, Otterbein University
Undergraduate Affiliate Network (UAN) held         •   Amanda Fisher, Rochester Institute of
its first Chi Omega Lambda Biochemistry &              Technology
Molecular Biology Honor Society initiation         •   Lee Gottesdiener, Wesleyan University
ceremony on March 17, 2012 for students from       •   Nisan Hubbard, Virginia Commonwealth
MMC who have been elected into the honor               University
society.                                           •   Emerson Khost, Marymount Manhattan
Each year, Chi Omega Lambda elects students        •   Sophia Levan, Wesleyan University
who have completed their second year of a          •   Justin McNally, SUNY Potsdam
four-year curriculum, are in strong academic       •   Meagan Montesion, College of Holy Cross
standing and have engaged in research              •   Alejandra Olvera, Wesleyan University
activities and science outreach.                   •   Emily Roblee, Providence College
                                                   •   Sarah Russell, Drake University
Candidates must be students studying               •   Rachel Schmidt, Rochester Institute of
biochemistry/molecular biology or related field        Technology
at an institution where an ASBMB UAN chapter       •   John Schmietzel, Vassar College
is established.                                    •   Johnna Sizemore, Eastern Kentucky
The MMC Chi Omega Lambda induction                 •   Joy Snyder, Rochester Institute of
ceremony initiated two new members this year:          Technology
Olympia Gaglioti ‘11 (elected into the society     •   Rosalie Sterner, Drake University
last year but not officially inducted until this   •   Julie Truong, Ramapo College of New
year) and Emerson Khost ’12.                           Jersey

Olympia and Emerson, both biology majors,
are outstanding students with multiple
years of undergraduate research experience
and community service. Olympia has also
completed a minor in French and plans on
attending medical school after she graduates.
Emerson is working towards a minor in
Mathematics and will pursue graduate studies
in Exobiology upon graduation.                     Honor Society inductees. From left to right: Johnna
                                                   Sizemore, Emily Roblee, Dan duBreuil, Emerson Khost,
                                                   Justin McNally, Rachel Schmidt, John Schmietzel, Joy
Both Emerson and Gaglioti are active members       Snyder, and Julie Truong.
in the MMC UAN. They join 2011 MMC Chi
Omega Lambda Honor Society inductees

Raymond Romano, Laura Anthony and Laura
Herren, all alumni of the biology program at
Pouring from the BECUR once again: A              (SSA), and Stanley Palasek. Rachel Wellington,
recap of the annual UA student re-                a freshman Molecular and Cellular Biology and
                                                  Mathematics major at UA, served as a judge for
search conference
                                                  the high school posters. Wellington was part of
                                                  our first BECUR conference as a junior at SSA in
Jessica Jemmett, Anthony Louis, and James T.
Hazzard, Ph.D., University of Arizona

On February 25, 2012, the University of Arizona
UAN Chapter hosted its third successful under-
graduate research conference, BECUR 2012.
This year’s conference began with a short wel-
coming address by Dr. James T. Hazzard (UAN
Chapter and Biochemistry Club Faculty Adviser).
Two poster sessions were held on Saturday with
intervening oral presentations by Alice Cai and
Anthony Kendrick. In addition to the more than
30 UA and Arizona State University (ASU) under-
                                                  The organizational committee for BECUR 2012
graduate posters presented this year, we were
                                                  consisted of Anthony Louis and Jessica Jem-
delighted to have 11 posters from high school
                                                  mett. Assistance was also provided by Kenny
students at the Sonoran Science Academy (SSA)
                                                  Childers, Shiana Ferng, Jessica Li, Elina Ly, Nina
and Tucson Magnet High School (TMHS), most
                                                  Martin, Ashley Mason, Jonathan Merritt, Ni-
of whom have been working in laboratories on
                                                  rushan Narendran , Joey Quiroz, and Aishan Shi
the UA campus.
                                                  with Dr. Hazzard acting as Faculty Adviser.
The highlight of this year’s BECUR was the Key-
                                                  Thanks also to Olivia Mendoza (Undergraduate
note Address by Daniel Herschlag (Stanford Uni-
                                                  Program Director) and Betsy Eigenberg (Admin-
versity) whose talk titled “How Enzymes Work”
                                                  istrative Assistant) for their invaluable help.
covered the variety of approaches his research
group has taken to gaining insights into the
catalytic mechanism of ketosteroid isomerase.

Four UAN travel awards ($400 each) went to         2012 UAN Chapter Activity Posters
UA students Andrew Ma, Anthony Kendrick,
Feel Kang, and Jonathan Ferng. Four $200           Thanks to all the chapters that brought
cash awards were presented to Kyle Marshal,        a poster to share at EB2012. We will be
Siddarth Pandya, Alice Cai, and Shiana Ferng       featuring chapter activities posters again
through the sponsorship of Southern Arizona        in Boston during the 2013 ASBMB Annual
American Chemistry Society Chapter (SAZACS),       Meeting.
Research Corporation, and Ventana Medical
Systems. Additional support from UAN and           See see this year’s UAN posters go to:
SAZACS funded six $50 high school poster 
awards which went to Ostin Zarse (TMHS),
Ochana Otto (TMHS), Augustus Woodrow-
Tomizuka (SSA), Kasey Crom (SSA), Joshua Sloan

An interdisciplinary approach                                   intensive, collaborative program.
to science education: How
                                                                The overarching goal is to instruct students
undergraduates at the University
                                                                in how to approach science from an
of Richmond are taught to think                                 interdisciplinary stance, taking relevant
corroboratively in IQS                                          scientific quandaries and combining two or
                                                                three disciplines in an unconventional manner
By Shannon Biello, University of Richmond                       to reach unexpected, and often rewarding,
As children, we view science as a composite
term – a class that offers us                                                      Instead of dividing off into
reasons for why tectonic plates        As adults, science is delineated into the a respective major track my
move, why the stars shuffle            branching tributaries of disciplines. It is first year of college, I was
through the sky, why some              no longer seen as an all-encompassing exposed to an open method
leaves are rounder than others,        journey of why and how things work... of study in which answers
why water evaporates when left                                                     were not relegated to a mere
in sunlight.                                                                       mathematical equation or
                                                                   chemical reaction, but rather what these two
As adults, science is delineated into the                          seemingly disparate components could do in
branching tributaries of disciplines. It is no                     synchrony.
longer seen as an all-encompassing journey of
why and how things work; rather, it becomes                        As a group of twenty students, we were
more focused. A scientist becomes a physicist,                     challenged to test the ordinary method of
a biologist, or a chemist, and even these                          learning and to think about how the five
categories are too broad in the quest to find the                  disciplines could be related to each other. Our
perfect laboratory and define long-term goals.                     laboratory work was a mixture of culture plates,
                                                                   program codes, algorithms, and fluorescence
In my college application, I knew I wanted to be                   spectroscopy. We identified a problem and
a science major and was perplexed when, in the                     attacked it with five different methodologies
small drop-down window, I had                                                      and simultaneously discovered
to choose between “biological          I was exposed to an open method             the necessity in collaboration.
sciences” and “chemistry”. It          of study in which answers were not
never occurred to me, perhaps          relegated to a mere mathematical            Students realized their strengths
naively, that biologists and           equation or chemical reaction, but          within the group, finding
chemists diverge in their course rather what these two seemingly                   themselves more comfortable in
requirements and that I would          disparate components could do in            one discipline over another. This
now have to commit to a                synchrony...                                aided each of us in determining
discipline.                                                                        which science track to embark
                                                                   on at the end of the program. My perception of
Enter Integrated Quantitative Science (or IQS),                    science as a collection of focuses was abolished
a pilot program at the University of Richmond I                    upon discovering how beneficial it was to blend
first heard about while sitting at an orientation                  the concentrations together in order to create a
event. IQS takes the five pillars of the sciences:                 more detailed picture.
biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and                      The University of Richmond is a member of the
computer science, and combines them into one                       ASBMB Undergraduate Affiliate Network.

Graduate School Corner: Louisiana
State University Health Sciences
Center, School of Graduate Studies

By Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D., LSUHSC

Located in the culturally rich city of New
Orleans, the Louisiana State University Health
Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Graduate
Studies offers a doctoral program that prepares
students for a career in the biomedical sciences.

Through our Interdisciplinary Program,
core curriculum students are trained in the
principles of biochemistry, genetics, cellular
and molecular biology and taught how to apply
this knowledge to the understanding of organ-
based function and pathophysiology. Through
a series of laboratory research rotations,
students work with a variety of internationally
renowned mentors in a wide range of
departments, including Biochemistry; Cell            Above, student presentations during Graduate Research
                                                     Day at LSUHSC.
Biology; Genetics; Microbiology, Immunology
and Parasitology; Pharmacology; Physiology;
and Neuroscience.                                    on to productive postdoctoral positions at
                                                     institutes such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins,
At the completion of their first year, students      Emory, University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt.
select a mentor and department in which
they will complete their dissertation research.      LSUHSC is currently building a brand new, state
Alternatively, students may be accepted directly     of the art teaching hospital that will facilitate
into any of our departmental programs.               and encourage translational research between
                                                     our basic scientists and clinicians. For more
Successful applicants are required to have at        information please visit our web site: http://
least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and a score of at
least 300 on the Graduate Record Exam (1000 in
the old scoring format). The LSUHSC School of
Graduate Studies provides competitive stipends
and full tuition waivers to all students admitted
into the Ph.D. program.

LSUHSC has a strong record of excellence in
training, which is evidenced through several of
our students successfully obtaining National
Institutes of Health Ruth Kirschstein training

fellowships. Our graduates have continued
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of                  Franklin published her work in the same issue
DNA by Brenda Maddox                                 stating it is consistent with the Watson-Crick
                                                     model. In subsequent years, she sent copies of
By Karen Muindi, D.Phil., U.S. Food and Drug         her papers to Watson and Crick for review, and
Administration                                       they became collaborators. Franklin moved
                                                     to Birkbeck College in 1953 and spent a few
If Rosalind Franklin’s name is not the first that    successful years elucidating the structure of
comes to mind when you think about the               tobacco mosaic virus until her death in April,
discovery of the structure of DNA, you are not       1958 of complications from ovarian cancer.
alone. One is more likely to think of James
Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. Even      Maddox concludes by engaging the reader
now, nearly fifty years after they were awarded      in a discussion of the portrayal of Franklin,
the Nobel Prize for their discoveries, ignorance     after her death, by those who knew her. The
still surrounds Franklin’s central role.             most controversial being Watson’s in his book
                                                     The Double Helix where he portrayed her as
“The first half of twentieth-century science         a brawling woman who hoarded data she
belonged to physics… The second half would           could not understand and even criticized her
belong to biology… the secret of the gene –          appearance.
how hereditary characteristics pass from one
generation to another – was the hottest topic        Maddox reports the criticisms leveled at
in science”. Post-war physicists realized that       Watson’s hugely successful book including
biological problems could be tackled in their        that it undermines the ethics of science,
own language.                                        demonstrating that winning justifies the
                                                     questionable means used to get there. Maddox
In her book, Brenda Maddox sets the scene            also examines statements made by Watson and
by describing key contributions by various           Crick in the years following Franklin’s death
scientists, including Oswald Avery and Erwin         criticizing her, suggesting a continuing sense of
Schrödinger, which led to this paradigm shift.       unease and a need to constantly defend their
Franklin’s career reflects this. Having trained in   actions.
physical chemistry, she studied the properties
of different types of coals for a Ph.D. Her skills   This book gives a balanced account of the story
in X-ray crystallography, sharpened in studies       of DNA, joining other retributive attempts
on coal and carbon, were later applied to study      in recent years to honor Franklin’s critical
DNA fibers at King’s College London.                 contribution. Maddox paints a picture of a
                                                     complex, brilliant, adventurous and passionate
Interpersonal relationships played a big role        woman. Quoting extensively from Franklin’s
in how Franklin’s story unfolded. Maddox             personal letters, she allows the real Franklin
speculates why some of the scientists involved       to emerge from the myths and distorted
got along better than others. She outlines the       portraits that have accumulated over time.
convoluted series of events that led to Watson       Maddox’s even-handed storytelling underscores
and Crick’s acquisition of Franklin’s X-ray          the difficulty involved in disentangling the
diffraction photographs of DNA, photographs          contributions of individuals in research.
they used to build the model of the double
helical structure of DNA published in Nature

in 1953, without the knowledge of anyone at
MOLECULES IN MOTION: Animated                                      believes he will be published in top tier science
movie reviews                                                      journals. As he quickly finds out, grad school
                                                                   is filled with hard work, late hours, failed and
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)                                    repeated experiments, and a relentless drive
                                                                   to please a demanding PI. The best part of this
Animator: DNA Learning Center                                      animation is that it portrays the life of a Ph.D.
Reviewers: Kaylin Kleinhans, Shelley Kolden &                      student in an amusing yet nerdy way, with a
Pamela Whyms, University of Wisconsin-Stevens                      catchy song that will surely get stuck in your
Point                                                              head.

Score:   5     4     4    3                                        Watch this video online:
This animation clearly depicts                   VALUE
the sequence of events that                                        G-Protein Coupled Hormone Signal
occur during the PCR reaction.         ACCURACY        ANIMATION   Transduction
The simultaneous movement of
the DNA strands suspended in                    SPECIAL
                                                                   Animator: Likeeley
solution along with the movement                                   Reviewers: Jay Raval, Ben Speth, Jon Sauer &
of the mercury in the thermometer                                  Yang Yang, University of Wisconsin-Stevens
illustrates the importance of                                      Point
temperature during the reaction. The Excellent (5) - Poor (1)
narration is clear, making this short                              Score: 3     4    5    5
animation very easy to watch. However, the
video failed to specify the reagents needed for                    This video does a very good job of depicting
PCR and the reaction times for each step of the                    all of the important steps and components
process. The animation also did not mention                        involved in signal transduction upon ligand
how a PCR reaction might fail and how to                           binding to a target cell receptor. There is a good
troubleshoot a failed PCR reaction.                                amount of background detail in the animation
                                                                   diagrams. For example, the video displayed the
Watch this video online:                       electrochemical environment outside of the
com/watch?v=2KoLnIwoZKU                                            cell and the physiological change that occurs
                                                                   after calcium-ion channels open up. It also
The Ph.Diddy is on the scene - Animation of                        depicted conformational change occurring in
life in the biotech lab                                            the receptor, which is a crucial aspect of ligand-
                                                                   receptor interaction. At the end of the video, the
Animator: Life Technologies Corp.                                  narrator provides some physiological examples
Reviewers: Shelley Kolden, Nyssa Maki, Qianwei                     of G-protein coupled signal transduction. The
Ren, and Yang Yang, University of Wisconsin-                       visual quality of the animation could be better
Stevens Point                                                      and the video itself could be presented at a
                                                                   faster pace. Nonetheless, this video would be
Score: 5      5     4    5                                         an adequate supplement to teaching signal
                                                                   transduction in a higher level biochemistry or
This animation is a fun and entertaining                           cellular biology class.
depiction of the life of a graduate student. It

illustrates the life of Arnold Young as a biotech                  Watch this video online:
Ph.D. candidate, who believes he has the                           com/watch?v=A3AUhMCE9n0
knowledge and the motivation to change the                         &feature=related
course of science with his research and truly
The UAN Committee                         Contributors to this issue:

Marilee Benore, Ph.D. (Chair)             Ann Aguanno, Ph.D., Marymount Manhattan
University of Michigan - Dearborn         College

Ann Aguanno, Ph.D.                        Shannon Biello, University of Richmond
Marymount Manhattan College
                                          Time Carter, Ph.D., St. Johns University
Teaster Baird, Ph.D.                      Arian Frost, Colorado College
San Francisco State University
                                          James T. Hazzard, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Ellis Bell, D. Phil.                      Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D., LSUHSC
University of Richmond
                                          Jessica Jemmett, University of Arizona
Rachell E. Booth, Ph.D.
Texas State University - San Marcos       Anthony Louis, University of Arizona

Ben Caldwell, Ph.D.                       Ajay Major, Union College
Missouri Western State University
                                          Karen Muindi, D.Phil., US Food and Drug
James T. Hazzard, Ph.D.                   Administration
University of Arizona
                                          Srona Sengupta, Johns Hopkins University
Mary Huff, Ph.D.
Bellarmine University                     Rebekah Waikel, Ph.D., Editor, Associate
                                          Professor at Eastern Kentucky University
Jim Lawrence, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point   Weiyi Zhao, Managing Editor, ASBMB

Mike Pikaart, Ph.D.
Hope College

Joe Provost, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University

Quinn Vega, Ph.D.
Montclair State University


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