High-School Students Join Two UB Summer Science Programs

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: July 23, 1999

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- There could be a future Albert Einstein or Bill Gates among area high school students who participated in two summer science programs at UB.

The programs provide a unique learning experience for academically talented students interested in future science or health-related careers.

Rodney L. Doran, Ph.D., professor of learning and instruction in the UB Graduate School of Education and director of the programs, says the programs provide students with an opportunity to learn about various aspects and activities in laboratory settings or participate in ongoing research.

Doran notes that many of the students who in the past participated in these programs later graduated from UB.

Thirteen students who will enter Buffalo high schools this fall participated in the three-week UB/Buffalo Public Schools Summer Science Institute July 5-23 in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Included in their activities and experiments were water analyses and a field trip to the Great Lakes Research Center, preparation of "natural" antibiotics from plant extracts and land snail excretions, restriction enzyme analyses and antibiotic sensitivity testing using the Kirby-Bauer technique.

Participating in the three-week institute were Jamir Cameron of Jewitt Parkway, Katherine Clubine of Parkside Court, Bridget Fraize of Norwood Avenue, Brittany Gipple of Hertel Avenue, Chandra Hollander of Woodward Avenue, Philip Lee of Sanders Road and Felicia Marrero of Peckham Avenue.

Also, Jessica Roll of Highgate Avenue, Patrick Schaus of Tacoma Avenue; Steven Burrell of East Depew Avenue, Antonio Crawford of Berkshire Avenue, Gordon MacDonald of Abbott Road and Alfred Oyoyo of Hastings Avenue.

The dozen high-school students selected for the six-week UB Science Research Institute were high achievers in science courses and had completed the equivalent of three years of Regents sciences and three of Regents mathematics courses.

Based on their individual interests, they were assigned to work with UB faculty mentors on on-going research projects and studies. The students, their hometowns, mentors and projects were:

• Sarah Calabrese of Williamsville; Anne Meyer, research associate professor of oral diagnostic sciences; growth of organisms on artificial surfaces that could be implanted as artificial heart valves in humans.

• Tony Lazarevski of Lackawanna; Peter Bradford, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology; the role of estrogen and other hormones in maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis.

• Jennifer Lee of East Amherst; Frederick Sachs, professor of physiology and biophysical sciences; stimulating proteins on human kidney-cell surfaces to study their calcium levels.

• Alisa Lehman of Buffalo; Jeremy Bruenn, professor of biological sciences; genetic experiments on mutant DNA to determine which amino acids are essential for organisms.

• Dana Marohn of Tonawanda; Gerald Koudelka, associate professor of biological sciences; functions of proteins involved in repair of bacteria chromosomes and their role in preventing infection by bacterial viruses.

• Diparwita Saha of Buffalo; Satpal Singh, associate professor of biochemical pharmacology; cross-breeding selected fruit flies to produce hybrids with certain characteristics in order to study their nervous systems.

• Ravi Shastri of East Amherst; Derek Taylor, associate professor of biological sciences; observing patterns formed in DNA fragments when exposed to electric current.

• David Walia of Colden; Bruce Nicholson, professor of biological sciences; movement of dyes through gap junctions by relative concentration of the dyes in pairs of cells from unfertilized frog egg cells.

• Lauren Welch of East Amherst; John Crane, assistant professor of medicine; amount of ATP released by cells infected with enteropathogenic E. coli bacteria.

• Christina Pasternak of Buffalo; Deborah Chung, Niagara Mohawk Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; testing properties of materials to determine their suitability in electronics.

• Daniel Lai of Williamsville; P.C. Cheng, professor of chemical and electrical engineering; use of state of the art imaging techniques to examine corn plants' microscopic structure.

• Sinduja Srinivasan of Tonawanda; Jerome Keister, professor of chemistry; production of chemical complexes of the element Ruthenium and a dye for potential use as a catalyst.