Colby-Sawyer College sent 15 students to the 2022 annual meeting of the New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) on Aug. 8-9 in Bretton Woods, N.H.

NH-INBRE is a collaborative network of two- and four-year colleges throughout the Granite State that supports biomedical research and training through two lead institutions, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire, and several primarily undergraduate partner institutions, including Colby-Sawyer College. The program is funded through the National Institutes of Health.

“The conference is a really great experience for the students,” Ben Steele, principal investigator for the grant at Colby-Sawyer, said. “They get to show off the research they have done and see how interested the audience is. Plus, they interact with students and faculty from the other New Hampshire colleges and make connections.”

Nick Genovese ’23, of Natick, Mass., was selected as one of eight students to share research in an oral presentation. Genovese participated in the NH-INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (iSURF) and presented “Directed evolution of cancer-targeting antibodies via yeast display,” a project conducted under the mentorship of Dartmouth College Associate Professor Margaret Ackerman. Genovese’s research focused on the development of a diverse set of antibodies that target different cancer antigens. Four other Colby-Sawyer students, Patrick Murphy ’24, Kara Keiper ’24, Grace McLaughlin ’24 and Meredith Ellis ’23, also conducted research funded by an iSURF award.

Six projects, spanning subjects such as the effects of man-made chemicals (contaminants), the biochemistry of cellular division and the effectiveness of particular strength training techniques for college-aged women, were chosen for presentation during the student poster sessions. These projects involved collaboration with faculty members and students from Colby-Sawyer College, Dartmouth College and the University of Transylvania.

Colby-Sawyer students who participated in the conference poster sessions included Genovese as well as Olivia Piemonte ’24, Kelsea Brasseur ’24, Talia Muller ’23 and Kelly Cunningham ’22, “Characterizing antimicrobial peptides identified using bioinformatics”; Murphy and Ellis, “Comparative analysis on the effects of long and short chain PFAS on the development, viability and motility of Caenorhabditis elegans”; Finn Husband ’23 and Alycia Ashby ’24, “Effects of common contaminants, PFOA and PFHxA on apoptosis, proliferation and the cell cycle on placental cells”; Calie Sorenson ’23, Sophia DeMarco ’22, Malik Newcomb ’22, Charles Graffius ’22 and Haleigh Daft ’24, “The effect of resistance band training and isokinetic training on strength in college-aged females”; McLaughlin, “Examination of NEMO - IkBa interaction in NF-kB pathway”; and Keiper, “Assessment of sous vide water baths for acute rewarming of frostbitten extremities.” This year’s student projects were conducted under the guidance of Colby-Sawyer faculty members James Jukowsky, Chery Whipple and Kerstin Stoedefalke, in addition to Ben Steele.

“It is always a fun and rewarding experience to work with and guide the students on their novel research projects,” Whipple said. “During the summer, we have the time to design and troubleshoot experiments followed by collecting, analyzing and presenting the data. The growth in the students' fundamental laboratory skills and, most importantly, their confidence level, is impressive.”