Overview               Required Courses                 Career Paths               Student List               Awards               Resources               Student Association

2019 Science Art Contest Awards

“The Aggie Beetles”

First Place

Image credit: Michelle Jonika
Advisor: Dr. Heath Blackmon

“The leg head”

Second Place

Image credit: Sydney Tippelt
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

“Simple mid-western family”

Third Place

Image credit: Victor Fanniel
Advisor: Dr. Raquel Sitcheran

2019 Genetics Travel Awards

Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA


Rebecca Booth
Presented a poster titled: “DNA delivery to cells by Ultrabithorax protein-based materials”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

10th International Conference on Canine and Feline Genetics and Genomics 2019 in Bern, Switzerland

Kevin R. Bredemeyer
Kevin Bredemeyer
Presented a talk titled: “DXZ4 and its role in MSCI and hybrid sterility”
Advisor: Dr. Bill Murphy

SMBE 2019 in Manchester,UK

Joseph J. Dubie
Joseph Dubie
Presented a poster titled: “The Conflict Within: Origin, Proliferation, and Persistence of a Spontaneously Arising Selfish Mitochondrial Genome”
Advisor: Dr. Vaishali Katju

ISOCARD (International Society of Camelid Research and Development), Laayoune, Morocco

Matthew J. Jevitt
Matthew Jevit
Presented a talk titled: “A Comparative study of the dromedary and alpaca Y chromosomes”
Advisor: Dr. Terje Raudsepp

Evolution 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island

Michelle Jonika

Michelle Jonika
Presented a talk titled: “Mode and Tempo of Microsatellite Evolution Across 300 Million Years of Divergence”
Advisor: Dr. Heath Blackmon

30th Fungal Genetics Conference in Pacific Grove, CA

Jennifer A. Jung
Jennifer Jung
Presented a poster titled: “A clock-regulated transcription factor network controls the phase of ADV-1 and its downstream clock-controlled genes”
Advisor: Dr. Deborah Bell-Pedersen

     American Thoracic Society 2019 International Conference in Dallas, TX


Tejas Karhadkar
Presented a poster titled: “Attenuated Pulmonary Fibrosis in Sialidase-3 Knockout (Neu3-/-) Mice”
Advisor: Dr. Richard Gomer

2019 Gordon Research Conference in Mammary Gland Biology in Newry, Maine

Jonathon R. Leach
Jonathon Leach
Presented a poster titled: “Effect of Singleminded2s on Metabolic Homeostasis in the Mouse Mammary Gland”
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

Society for Biomaterials 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle, WA.


Gabriela Mendes
Presented a talk titled: “Engineering Ubx-based Materials to Promote and Guide Neovascularization”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

2019 Gordon Research Conference in Mammary Gland Biology in Newry, Maine

Lilia Sanchez

Lilia Sanchez
Presented a poster titled: “Singleminded2s Connects Mitochondrial Dynamics and Mammary Epithelial Cell Differentiation”
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

2019 Genetics Symposium

Short talks

Award for the outstanding short talk

Kelsi O West
Kelsi West
“The RNA-binding protein, hnRNP M, is a critical regulator of the innate immune response”
Advisor: Dr. Robert Watson

Award for the outstanding short talk

Jessica L.  Elswood
Jessica Elswood
“Powering lactation by taking out the trash”
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

Award for the outstanding short talk

Tejas R. Karhadkar
Tejas  Karhadkar
“Attenuated Pulmonary Fibrosis in Sialidase-3 Knockout (Neu3-/-) Mice”
Advisor: Dr. Richard Gomer

Poster Competition

First Place

Samantha E. Iiams
Samantha Iiams
“Circadian clock control and vitamin A regulation of photoperiodically-induced reproductive diapause in the monarch butterfly”
Advisor: Dr. Christine Merlin

Second Place 

Kevin R. Bredemeyer
Kevin Bredemeyer
“The Role of X chromosome Structural Conformation in Meiotic Sex Chromosome Inactivation and Speciation”
Advisor: Dr. Bill Murphy

Second Place 

Miguel F. Gonzales
Miguel Gonzales
“The interface between the anti-restriction components of bacteriophage P1 and P1 biology”
Advisor: Dr. Jason Gill

Second Place

Kathryn M. Pflug
Kathryn Pflug
“NIK and the Alternative NF-κB Pathway Acting as Novel Drivers of Adipogenesis”
Advisor: Dr. Raquel Sitcheran

2019 Awards and Scholarships

Travel Award

David Forgacs
David Forgacs
Advisor: Dr. Jim Derr
2019 Plant and Animal Genome Conference

Travel Award


Caitlin Curry
Advisor: Dr. Jim Derr
2019 Plant and Animal Genome Conference

Scholarship Recipient

Kristin M. Scoggin
Kristin Scoggin
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill
International Mammalian Genome Society

2018 Genetics Fellows

These students were selected from a group of extraordinarily talented applicants based on the following criteria: scientific excellence and impact (including research statement, publications, conference participation, and academic awards), contribution to GGSA and financial need.


Rebecca Booth
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Caitlin Curry
Advisor: Dr. James Derr


Diana Medina
Advisor: Dr. Jon Skare


Joseph Moderalli
Advisor: Dr. James Derr

2018 Genetics Travel Awards

Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics in Carbondale, IL


Rebecca Booth
Presented a poster titled: “Identifying long-range, intramolecular interactions that regulate DNA binding in a Hox transcription factor”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Southern Africa Lion Indaba in Kruger National Park, South Africa


Caitlin Curry
Presented a talk titled: “Using Digital Media to Centralize Our Global Community”
Advisor: Dr. Jim Derr

Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Urbana, IL 


Heather Eggleston
Presented a talk titled: “Identifying heme importers & exporters through RNA seq analysis in Aedes aegypti”
Advisor: Dr. Zachary Adelman

Keystone on Mitochondrial Biology in Kyoto, Japan


Jessica Elswood
Presented a poster titled:”Singleminded-2s: at the nexus of mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics during mammary epithelial cell differentiation”
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) in  Amelia Island, FL


Ben Greenwell
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet
Presented a talk and a poster titled: “Rhythmic Food Intake Drives Rhythmic Gene Expression More Potently than the Hepatic Circadian Clock in Mice”

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) in  Amelia Island, FL


Samantha Iiams
Presented a poster and a talk titled: “Circadian clock control and vitamin A regulation of photo periodically induce reproductive diapause in the monarch butterfly”
Received the Patricia DeCoursey Excellence Award base on her abstract
Advisor: Dr. Christine Merlin

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) in  Amelia Island, FL


Jennifer Jung
Presented a poster titled: “Rhythmic phase control and period compensation by a circadian transcription factor network”
Advisor: Dr. Deborah Bell-Pedersen

Plant and Animal Genome Symposium (PAGS) in San Diego, CA


Matthew Jevit
Presented a talk titled: “Towards a gene catalogue of the alpaca Y chromosome”
Advisor: Dr. Terje Raudsepp

ATS-2018 International Conference in San Diego, CA


Tejas Karhadkar
Presented a poster and a talk titled:  “Sialidase inhibitors attenuate pulmonary fibrosis in mice model”

Advisor: Dr. Richard Gomer

Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: From Molecular Mechanisms to Translational Applications in Heidelberg, Germany


Carolina Mantilla-Rojas
Presented a talk titled: “Progression of Colorectal Cancer Through Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Independent Mechanisms”
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill

Gordon Research Conference Biology: Spirochete Biology in the Host and in the Wild in Ventura, CA


Diana Medina
Presented a poster titled: “The Small Regulatory RNA (sRNA) of Borrelia burgdorferi that maps between genes bbd18 and bbd19 is required for optimal infectivity”
Advisor: Dr. Jon Skare

Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics in Carbondale, IL


Gabriela Mendes
Presented a poster titled: “Developing new forms of protein-based materials”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) in  Amelia Island, FL


Alexandra Trott
Presented a poster titled: “Molecular Characterization of the Effects of Shift Work and Food Consumption on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Functions in the Rat”
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet

American Association of Immunologists conference in Austin, TX


Kelsi West
Presented a poster titled:” RNA-binding protein, hnRNP M, and how it influences specific cytokine outcomes upon Salmonella infection”
Advisor: Dr. Robert Watson

2018 Genetics Symposium

Short Talks Competition

First Place


Jessica Elswood
“Powering Lactation: Where Mitophagy and Mitochondrial Dynamics Meet”
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

Second Place and People Choice Award


Samantha Iiams
“RNA-seq in Seasonal Forms of Monarch Butterfly Reveals a Possible Role of the Vitamin A Pathway in Regulating Insect Photoperiodic Responses”
Advisor: Dr. Christine Merlin

Third Place (tie)


Carolina Mantilla-Rojas
“Progression of colorectal cancer through epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-independent mechanisms”
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill


Caitlin Curry
“A Century of Conservation Genetics of African Lions (Panthera leo)”
Advisor: Dr. James Derr

Poster Competition

First Place


Heather Eggleston
“Identifying Heme Importers and Exporters Through RNA Seq Analysis in Aedes aegypyi”
Advisor: Dr. Zachary Adelman

Second Place 


Rebecca Booth
“How Hox Proteins Regulate DNA Binding”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Third Place 


Diana Medina
“Small Regulatory RNA (sRNA) in Borrelia burgdorferi is Required for Optimal Infectivity”
Advisor: Dr. Jon Skare

People Choice Award


Alexandra Trott
“Molecular Characterization of the Effects of Shift Work and Food Consumption on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Functions in the Rat”
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet

Award of Teaching Excellence


Andrew Collin Osborne
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet

Students’ Choice Teaching Award


Kathryn Pflug
Advisor: Dr. Raquel Sitcheran

2017 Genetics Fellows

These students were selected from a group of extraordinarily talented applicants based on the following criteria: scientific excellence and impact (including research statement, publications, conference participation, and academic awards), contribution to GGSA and financial need.


Wesley Brashear
Advisor: Dr. Bill Murphy


David Forgacs
Advisor: Dr. James Derr


Ramesh Gunaratna
Advisor: Dr. Robin Fuchs Young

Carolina Mantilla-Rojas
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill


Scott Pearson
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter


Alexandra Trott
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet

2017 Genetics Symposium

Short Talks Competition

                           First Place                               


Camille Duran
Advisor: Dr. Kayla Bayless

Second Place


Alexandra Trott
Advisor: Dr. Jerome Menet

Third Place (tie)


Jessica Elswood
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter


Scott Pearson
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

People Choice Award


Hilary Scott
Advisor: Dr. Vlad Panin

       Poster Competition

                                First Place                                      


Kathy Scienski
Advisor: Dr. Clare Gill

Second Place


Camille Duran
Advisor: Dr. Kayla Bayless

Third Place


Jessica Elswood
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

People Choice Award


Scott Pearson
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

       

Award of Teaching Excellence

Samantha Peeler-Fletcher
Advisor: Dr. Deborah Threadgill

Students’ Choice Teaching Award


Hilary Scott
Advisor: Dr. Vlad Panin

2016 Genetics Symposium

Short Talks Competition

First Place


Reed Stubbendieck
“Escape from lethal bacterial competition through coupled antibiotic resistance and a mobilized subpopulation”
Advisor: Dr. Paul Straight

Second Place (tie)


Ashley Matinson
“The genetic basis of grain yield in Sorghum bicolor”
Advisor: Dr. John Mullet


Hilary Scott
“A novel pathway regulating neural excitability in the Drosophila nervous system”
Advisor: Dr. Vlad Panin

Poster Competition

First Place


Stephen Caster
“Circadian clock regulation of mRNA translation through the eukaryotic elongation factor eEF-2”
Advisor: Dr. Deb Bell-Pederson

Second Place


Derek Seidel
“Epigenetic regulation of apoptosis in adult colon stem cells: response to radiation and dietary interventions”
Advisor: Dr. Nancy Turner

Third Place


Camille Duran
“Hic-5 mediates endothelial sprouting by regulating a key surface metalloproteinase”
Advisor: Dr. Kayla Bayless

Fourth Place


Adam Salazar
“Killing three birds with one stone: strategic targeting of a conserved mycobacterial and plant, mulipathway choke point, by two classes of herbicide”
Advisor: Dr. Jim Sacchettini

Teaching Award

Exceptional Performance for Teaching


Michelle Gorman
Advisor: Dr. Deborah Threadgill

Teaching Award

Outstanding Performance for Teaching


Samantha Iiams
Advisor: Dr. Christine Merlin

2015 Genetics Symposium

Poster Competition

First Place


Kelly Churion
“Sequence-specific incorporation of DNA into protein-based biomaterials”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Second Place


Stephen Caster
“Circadian regulation of translation through the Eukaryotic Elongation Factor eEF-2 in Neurospora crassa”
Advisor: Dr. Deb Bell-Pederson

Third Place


Rachel Jordan
“Silent chromatin varies across the ribosomal DNA array in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”|
Advisor: Dr. Mary Bryk

Fourth Place


Reed Stubbendieck
“A mechanism of resistance in a model bacterial competition”
Advisor: Dr. Paul Straight

Teaching Awards

Exceptional Performance for Teaching


Jessica Elswood
Advisor: Dr. Weston Porter

Outstanding Performance in Teaching


Carolina Mantilla-Rojas
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill

Research Award


Amanda Hulse-Kemp
Advisor: Dr. David Stelly

Mentoring Award


Rachel Jordan
Advisor: Dr. Mary Bryk

2014 Genetics Symposium

Poster Competition

First Place


Kelly Churion
” Sequence-specific incorporation of DNA into protein-based biomaterials”
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Bondos

Second Place


Victor Mason
“Efficient cross-species capture hybridization and next-generation sequencing of mitochondrial genomes from non-invasively sampled colugo museum specimens”
Advisor: Dr. Bill Murphy

Third Place


Josie Hilley
“Genetic basis of stem growth in sorghum”
Advisor: Dr. John Mullet

Fourth Place


Jade Benjamin
“Development of embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cultures for high-throughput drug screening”
Advisor: Dr. Scott Dindot

2014 Teaching Awards

Exceptional Performance for Teaching


David Forgacs
Advisor: Dr. James Derr

Outstanding Performance in Teaching


Selene Howe
Advisor: Dr. David Threadgill