Students From Across the Country Spending Summer Conducting Research at Rutgers University–Camden

By Ed Moorhouse

Students from across the country are performing research at Rutgers-Camden this summer.

Students from across the country are performing research at Rutgers-Camden this summer.

Ten undergraduate students from across the country are gaining critical research and professional development skills through a summer program at Rutgers University–Camden.

The Computational Biology Summer Program introduces participants to an integrated approach to research that incorporates the biological sciences, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and physics.

This marks the third year for the 10-week program, which is funded by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant establishes Rutgers–Camden’s Center for Computational and Integrative Biology (CCIB) as a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site, in which a group of undergraduates work within the research programs of a host institution.

Each student is assigned to one of five multi-disciplinary research projects focusing on the following areas of study: ecosystems, animal groups, synthetic engineering for bio-fuel production, cell shapes in plants, and hormonal regulation of a receptor found in the brain. Rutgers–Camden faculty mentors work with the students to help them formulate hypotheses, design experiments, and interpret results for the verification of the hypotheses.

The program, which began May 26 and runs until July 31, is open to students from throughout the United States and targets those enrolled in community colleges, non-traditional students, veterans, and students from communities underserved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.

“The program allows students who would otherwise not have an opportunity to study computational biology gain meaningful experience in the field,” says Benedetto Piccoli, director of the CCIB and the Joseph and Loretta Lopez Chair in Mathematics at Rutgers–Camden.

In addition to research experience, the students receive computational biology training, professional skills development, and enrichment sessions geared toward broadening their understanding of the issues surrounding scientific research. On July 31, they will present the results of their research to Rutgers–Camden faculty and their peers during a poster session on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

More information about the Computational Biology Summer Program can be found at

The students participating in the Computational Biology Summer Program this year are (college or university and hometowns are indicated): Mark Ellie Alonzo (California State Polytechnic University–Pomona/Lancaster, Calif.); Juliette Daily (The College of New Jersey/Westmont, N.J.); Ayla Decavallas (New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering/New York, N.Y.); Jamie Ferns (The College of William and Mary/Warren, N.J.); Nicholas Glynos (Flathead Valley Community College/Kalispell, Mont.); Kayla Iuliucci (Tulane University/Westmont, N.J.); Bryan Mejia-Sosa (Massachusetts institute of Technology/Chicago, Ill.); Andrew Nixon (University of Maryland, College Park/Maryland); Jessica Obie (Binghamton University/Salisbury Mills, N.Y.); and Joseph Osei-Kusi (Bronx Community College/New York, N.Y.)

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