Spring 2017 Newsletter

About The Programs

The RISE program is supported by the National Institutes of Health to provide research opportunities for students. RISE students major in biology and chemistry, and are paid an hourly wage to carry out research with on-campus faculty during the semesters and off-campus during the summers.

The RISE program supports the ROADS Research Club. The club provides authentic group research experiences for freshmen and sophomores in the sciences. Contact Dr. Michael Robinson at 305-899-4930, email mprobinson@barry.edu or visit the website at barry.edu/mbrsrise/programactivities/roads.htm. New students can apply to ROADS through their MyBarry account.

For more information, contact Dr. Flona Redway at 305-899-3542 or visit barry.edu/rise.

Flona Redway, PhD,
RISE Program Director

Michael Robinson, PhD,
ROADS Coordinator

Norma Barrera, BS,
RISE Administrative Assistant

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Student Accomplishments

Pedro Sanchez and Kamren Livingston received awards for their poster presentations at ABRCMS in Tampa, Fla. Sanchez spent the summer in Dr. Karl Boehme’s lab at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, studying “non-structural protein σ1s enhances reovirus resistance to type 1-interferon responses.” Livingston carried out research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Dr. Graham Walker’s lab. He studied “depletion of essential proteins leads to DNA repair mediated bacterial cell death.”

From left to right: Dr. Leticia Vega, Norma Barrera, Jocelyn Baquier, Kamren Livingston, Mariana Ruiz, and Dr. Flona Redway

Top, from left to right: Jocelyn Baquier, Joshua Kelly, Gabriela Lin. Bottom, from left to right: Dr. Flona Redway, Mariana Ruiz, Norma Barrera, Kamren Livingston, Pedro Sanchez and Bertina Telusma.

Diana Cordero received the Department of Physical Sciences Honor Scholarship and the Chemistry and Physics Faculty Endowed Scholarship for fall 2016.

Dr. Zuzana Zajickova and Diana Cordero.

Pedro Sanchez accepted an invitation in September to attend the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program Preview Weekend at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Pedro Sanchez.

Earlier this month, Jocelyn Baquier (RISE-Biology) attended the MIT Department of Biology workshop on Quantitative Biology in Cambridge, Mass. The six-day workshop included daily faculty lectures (in genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and statistics), followed by relevant, hands-on activities, research seminars by graduate students on cutting-edge methods, and daily sessions on critical evaluation of scientific papers.

Jocelyn Baquier.

Baquier also received a travel award to attend the Society of Toxicology’s Undergraduate Education Program at the Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md., in March 2017.

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Student Attendance and Presentations at Scientific Meetings

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Nov. 9–12, Tampa:RISE students Bertina Telusma, Kamren Livingston, Joshua Kelly and Pedro Sanchez made poster presentations on their summer research conducted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Vanderbilt University and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

From left to right: Dr. Leticia Vega, Mariana Ruiz, Norma Barrera, Kamren Livingston, Gabriela Lin, Pedro Sanchez, Joshua Kelly, Jocelyn Baquier and Dr. Flona Redway.


Peter Rodriguez and Fabio Frech, former ROADS club members and biology majors, received honorable mention and second place for their poster presentations at the American Society for Cell Biology’s (ASCB) Annual Meeting this past December in San Francisco, Calif. Rodriguez’s research, “Screening for novel molecular contributors to dopamine signaling using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegansmillion mutation project library,” was conducted in summer 2016 at the Florida Atlantic University Brain Institute. Frech’s research, “Investigation of a new hypoxia model to induce cardiomyocyte proliferation in zebrafish,” was carried out in Dr. Brenda Schoffstall’ s lab.

Peter Rodriguez.

Fabio Frech.

Gabriela Lin, former ROADS club member and biology major, received a conference-sponsored travel award to present at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) this past November in Tampa, Fla.

Gabriela Lin.

ROADS club members at Florida Grand Opera: Carmen

ROADS club members outside Adrienne Arhst Center.

ROADS club members enjoying the opera.

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Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Brenda Schoffstall, associate profesor biology, received the 2016 ASCB MAC Linkage Fellowship to promote careers and research in cell biology for minority students. Schoffstall currently mentors RISE student Gabriela Hernandez and former ROADS club members Peter Rodriguez and Fabio Frech.

Dr. Tang Hu, professor of biology, published a paper titled “CRISPR-Cas system and its applications in hematopoietic cells,” (Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases, 62: 6-12, 2016); reviewed two manuscripts, Journal of Medycyna Pracy (MS No. MEDPR-00286-2015-0#), and Cytokine (MS No. CYTO-16-41#); was appointed to the Editorial Board of Stem Cell & Research (SRL) (http://scireslit.com/StemCell/editorsJ.php) and to the Editorial Board of Journal of Hematology & Hemotherapy (also named “Henry of Journal of Hematology & Hemotherapy.”) (http://www.henrypublishinggroups.com/henry-journal-of-hematology-hemotherapy/).

Dr. George Fisher, professor of chemistry, was re-elected to a three-year term as National Councilor of the American Chemical Society, representing the South Florida ACS section. Through Fisher’s efforts, the Barry University American Chemical Society student chapter received an Outstanding Chapter award, which will be presented in April at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

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Celebrating “Monster Munch”

The Monster Munch on Oct. 3 included costumes, eateries and fun.

From left to right: Diana Cordero, Gabriela Lin, Dr. Flona Redway, Norma Barrera, Gabriela Hernandez, Marissa Jones, Pedro Sanchez and Bertina Telusma.

From left to right: Diana Cordero, Norma Barrera, Bertina Telusma, Pedro Sanchez, Marissa Jones and Dr. Flona Redway. Bottom: Dr. Teresa Petrino and Gabriela Lin.

Baby Shower

On Nov. 4, we celebrated Norma’s baby shower at the Cheesecake Factory in Aventura as we patiently awaited the arrival of Danny’s baby brother.

RISE students and friends enjoying the baby shower.

Norma Barrera

Christmas Party

On Nov. 30, we competed for the ugliest sweater and attempted the RISE mannequin challenge during the Christmas lunch.

From left to right: Gabriela Lin, Dr. Teresa Petrino, Joshua Kelly, Gabriela Hernandez, Pedro Sanchez, Dr. Flona Redway, Diana Cordero and Norma Barrera.

From left to right: Dr. Flona Redway, Norma Barrera, Dr. Teresa Petrino and Nina Caba.

From left to right: Gabriela Hernandez, Austin Cruz and Pedro Sanchez.

From left to right: Bertina Telusma, Gabriela Lin, Diana Cordero and Joshua Kelly.

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Alumni Updates

Isa Munoz-Arias, PhD. (MBRS/MIRT ’00) and her husband welcomed Paloma Primavera Muñoz to their family.

Krystal (Lago) Ribot, PhD. (MARC ’10) is currently working at Miami Dade College as an assistant professor in the social sciences department. In October, she welcomed twin boys to their family.

Poincyane Assis-Nascimiento, PhD (RISE/MARC ’06) defended her doctoral thesis in October and met all the requirements to graduate with a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Miami in Florida.

KeiAuyndria Edwards (RISE ’15) received the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) Training grant while pursuing her doctorate in biomedical sciences (IBMS) in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Joshua Tapia (RISE ’13) is currently pursuing his medical degree at Ross University in Dominica. His expected graduation date is spring 2020.

Brian Garner (MARC ’11) is now enrolled in the master’s degree program in public health at Southern New Hampshire University in New Hampshire.

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