College of Arts and Sciences

John P. McNulty Scholars Program for Excellence in Science and Math

McNulty Fellows Research 2014



McNulty Fellows 2014-15


Biology and Environmental Science major Elizabeth Krohn ’15, and Biology major Stephanie Tittaferrante '15, worked together in the research lab of biologist Dr. Scott McRobert.  They examined the sexual behavior of Drosophila suzukii, the Spotted Wing fruit fly, which is an invasive agricultural pest in Europe and North America. Specifically, they looked at how blueberries, one of NJ's premier crops, promote higher propagation rates.

Christina Mirarchi '16, a biology major, continued her work with biologist Dr. Catalina Arango to identify the phosphotransferase system (PTS) protein that interacts with the global regulator of carbon catabolite repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti, a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium.

McNulty Fellow Megan O'Donnell '15, a biology major, continued her second summer of research in Dr. Christina King Smith's biology laboratory.  She studied the localization and distribution of the RPE65 enzyme in the retinal pigment epithelium layer in the fish eye.  RPE65 and the retina interrelate to regulate light flux in fish, which do not have dilatable pupils. Megan will present her findings at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in Philadelphia PA in December 2014.

Merissa Misiura '15, biology and Spanish double major, worked in the laboratory of biologist Dr. Jonathan Fingerut.  She assessed the effect of different environmental factors on Achnanthidium minutissimum, a very common and diverse species of diatoms, which are ubiquitous ecological indicators of water quality and environmental health.


In addition, three other students in the McNulty Scholars Program conducted summer research, including:


McNulty Scholar Christina Freeman '16, biology major, started work on measuring the dimerizaton in the transmembrane domains of three transmembrane proteins: FLT3, FGFR3 and Mucin 1 (MUC1).  Under the direction of her research mentor, biologist Dr. Edwin Li,  she began exploring a way to chacterize the activity of these proteins which, when unregulated, has been associated with skeletal abnormalities and cancer.

McNulty Scholar and biology major Kathleen Logan '16 worked with research mentor Dr. Philip Schatz in the Psychology Department to investigate the reliabilty of the ImPACT post-concussion assessment test, widely used in high school athletics programs.  She prepared and organized data collected from Louisiana high school athletes for statistical analyses.  She also examined the correlation between standardized test scores and ImPACT composite scores.  She will continue to work with Dr. Schatz to publish a practical guide for clinicians evaluating concussions.




McNulty Associate Elizabeth Storm '17, chemical biology major, worked under the direction of biologist Dr. Shan Bhatt to research the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC).  EPEC infects the small intestine, primarily in infants in developing countries, causing diarrhea and often death.  Specifically Liz focused on identifying how this pathogen binds to intestinal cells, with the hope that eventually this information can be used to develop a drug regimen for deadly EPEC infections.