Senior Honors Profiles
Major: Biological Sciences and Anthropology
Mentor: Jenifer Prosperi
Project Title: Elucidating the mechanism of cisplatin resistance in triple-negative breast cancer with a loss of the tumor suppressor APC
Career Plans: Attending MD program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ next fall followed by an internal medicine residency
Summer Experiences: Summer Service Learning Program at the Orange County Catholic Worker (2017), CPRIT-CURE Fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (2018), COS-SURF at the University of Notre Dame (2019)
Other Interests: As Co-President of the Compassionate Care in Medicine Club, I am passionate about educating future clinicians in the science of compassion in healthcare. To practice this mission, I volunteer at A Rosie Place, a respite hospital for medically fragile children. I also enjoy tutoring student-athletes in biology and Spanish, as well as playing violin in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra. Aside from academics, I enjoy cooking and baking!
Major: Environmental Sciences
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Tank
Project Title: Determining the influence of groundwater on the detection of water quality improvements in an agricultural stream
Career Plans: Attending the Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD program at Michigan State University with plans to work for USGS or a NGO before academia
Summer Experiences: 2017 - Laboratory Technician in the Tank Lab, 2018 - University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center Field Practicum, 2019 - Independent Research in the Tank Lab COS-SURF
Other Interests: I have been a teaching assistant for Ecology Lab, Aquatic Insects, and Biostatistics. I also research in the Museum of Biodiversity identifying insects with Dr. Ron Hellenthal, and I am the co-chair of the Department of Biological Sciences Senior Leadership Committee. I love hiking and geology, and have been on numerous geology field trips during my time at Notre Dame.
Major: Biological Sciences
Mentor: Dr. David Hyde
Project Title: Characterization of Her4 in the Light-Induced Regenerating Zebrafish Retina
Career Plans: Rebecca will be taking a gap year before medical school. During her gap year, Rebecca will be conducting research at the NIH (Matt Kelley lab). She will be investigating the molecular and cellular factors involved in the development of the sensory epithelium of the mammalian cochlea.
Summer Experiences: I spent two summers in the Hyde lab with support from COS-SURF. The first (2018) investigating the role of Notch signaling in regulating Müller glia quiescence vs. proliferation and generating expression profiles for the downstream effectors of the Notch signaling pathway, the her genes. The second (2019) was spent on my senior thesis project, investigating the role of Her4 in Müller glial cell proliferation
Other Interests: I had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant and LRC tutor for Introductory Biology, which were both really great experiences. Another activity that I really enjoyed was volunteering as an assistant coach with Girls on the Run, an after-school program that aims to encourage the development of self-esteem and healthy lifestyles in young girls. Outside of my work in the lab and the classroom, I enjoy swimming, running, reading, and watching movies.
Major: Biological Sciences and Greek & Roman Civilizations (supplementary)
Mentor: Dr. Siyuan Zhang
Project Title: Mechanisms of CDK4/6 Inhibitor Synergy with Kinase Inhibitors in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Career Plans: Jenna will be taking a gap year to conduct research before applying to MD/PhD programs.
Summer Experiences: COSSURF in Dr. Zhang's Lab and MD Anderson Cancer Center Summer University Outreach Program
Other Interests: I volunteer at the St. Joseph Family Medicine Clinic and A Rosie Place, am the Crew Captain of the Love Your Melon Campus Crew, a TA for the Research Experience in Biology course, and an Uplift Mentor, and I love to travel and explore the outdoors.
Yanting Luo (Raven)
Major: Biological Sciences and Japanese (supplementary)
Mentor: Dr. Xin Lu
Project Title: Metabolic vulnerability by UQCRH methylation in clear cell renal carcinoma and ovarian cancer
Career Plans: Attending the Cell and Molecular Biology PhD umbrella program at Duke University
Summer Experiences: Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (2017), Harvard Immunology Undergraduate Summer Program (2018), Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases-SURF at the University of Notre Dame (2019)
Other Interests: I have TAed and tutored both Biology and Japanese. I am the co-chair of the Biology/Environmental Science Senior Leadership Committee as well as the undergraduate coordinator of Notre Dame's chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). I also enjoy learning about martial arts with my friends at Kung Fu Club.
Major: Biological Sciences and Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Zachary Schafer
Project Title: Understanding the relationship between RIPK1-mediated mitophagy and immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance as well as identifying oncogene induced sensitivity to ferroptosis.
Career Plans: Ryan will be taking a gap year before applying to med school. During his gap year, he will be working at his local hospital as a rehabilitation technician and hopefully an EMT.
Summer Experiences: Rehabilitative Technician at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis and Hippotherapy Technician with Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Services (2017), National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates in Dr. Schafer's Lab (2018), National Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician and Medical Mentoring at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital (2019)
Other Interests: In addition to my work in the lab and in health care, I also enjoy volunteering, writing, singing, and playing violin. I have really found a passion at Pet Refuge, a local dog shelter in South Bend that allows me to give back and receive my weekly dose of puppy love. As the senior editor for the Biology Section of Scientia, Notre Dame's Undergraduate Journal of Science, I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing lots of amazing research being performed by ND students and helping them disseminate exciting new knowledge. Outside of academics, Notre Dame's Folk Choir and playing violin for my own enjoyment have been true stress relievers!
Major: Biological Sciences
Mentor: Dr. Amy Stark
Project Title: Identifying differential gene induction responsible for varying cisplatin response by bridging non-cancer and cancer cell models
Career Plans: Lindsey will be taking a gap year before applying to med school. During her gap year, Lindsey will be working as a clinical research coordinator.
Summer Experiences: 2018 MD Anderson CPRIT CURE program, 2019 COS SURF
Other Interests: In addition to academics and research, I volunteer with patients at the South Bend Center for Hospice. I am a teaching assistant for the genetics lab course, an Uplift peer mentor, treasurer for the biology club, and a Scientia editor. I also enjoy reading, hiking, and baking.