Students, Recent Alumni Present at Professional Conference
Every fall, Associate Professor of Chemistry Rachel Mitton-Fry takes interested research students to the Rustbelt RNA Meeting (RRM), an annual regional meeting of the RNA Society focused around RNA-related biomedical research. The meeting is designed to encourage the sharing of ideas and the development of new collaborations.
RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life (along with DNA and proteins). A central tenet of molecular biology states that the flow of genetic information in a cell is from DNA through RNA to proteins.
This professional meeting has over 300 participants, primarily graduate students, post docs, and professors from large research universities in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The students present research posters from the prior summer, and they have an opportunity to experience the breadth and depth of RNA research.
Mitton-Fry recently attended the 2018 RRM (October 26 – 27, Columbus, Ohio) with lab members Yow Yong Tan ’19, Austin Allen ’19, Madeline Su ’20, and Anna Chee ’20.
“Madeline and Anna were awarded an Honorable Mention for the Undergraduate Poster Presentation category (the 3rd place award for an undergraduate poster) for their presentation of “SHAPE analysis of wild type and mutant htrA RNA thermometer in Salmonella enterica,’” says Mitton Fry.
“Yow Yong also presented a poster ‘Investigating the role of the bulge and pentaloop for htrA RNA thermometer melting behavior.’ Both posters were based on summer 2018 research in the Mitton-Fry lab. This is the third straight year that a student from my lab has won a poster presentation award,” she added.
Also in attendance were former Mitton-Fry lab members Janie Frandsen ’14 and Edric Choi ’18, as well as former Biochemistry major Megan Van Horn ’17.
“While at Denison, Janie and Edric conducted senior research for recognition in my lab, and they are both student coauthors on the on our 2017 lab publication in the journal RNA,” said Mitton-Fry.
“Megan conducted senior research with Peter Kuhlman, Janie gave an oral presentation on her graduate work in the lab of Dr. Tina Henkin at The Ohio State University. Edric is currently a Research Assistant in the Gopalan lab at the Ohio State University. Megan is currently a graduate student in the Das lab at Carnegie Mellon University.”
Mitton-Fry is on the Steering Committee for the RRM, representing PUI perspectives. This year, she also served on the Career Mentoring panel at the meeting (again, representing the PUI faculty perspective).