Two biology majors at DeSales are among a handful of students from across the state to receive coveted research grants from the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.
Georgina “Dallas” VanNorden ’18 received a $500 grant, while Graziella Greco ’20 was awarded a $300 grant. They are among just 24 students from 15 Pennsylvania colleges and universities to be given the grants.
VanNorden, along with Dr. Joshua Slee, is testing the chemical annonacin’s anti-inflammatory effects on inflammation related to cardiovascular disease.
“DeSales is not always known as a research institution. The fact that we have not one but two students who got competitive research grants shows that even though we’re small, we are doing some mighty research in our labs.”
- Dr. Lara Goudsouzian, Assistant Professor of Biology
“The goal is to publish,” she says. “Hopefully we’ll find conclusive data that supports our hypotheses and be able to put that in a journal.”
Greco, along with Dr. Lara Goudsouzian, is working on a yeast model of human trinucleotide repeat disorders, which are responsible for several types of hereditary neurodegenerative diseases.
“A lot of the things we need for the project are really expensive,” says Greco.“Without the money, we wouldn’t be able to get them or do the project.”
Goudsouzian and Slee are both members of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, an organization that aims to advance the pursuit and application of science both in academic and industrial settings. As part of their membership, they were able to have students apply for the research grants.
“It really gives them the perspective of what science is like,” says Slee. “You have to come up with good ideas that somebody’s going to give you money to do. So they’ve experienced it from the very beginning.”
Adds Goudsouzian, “DeSales is not always known as a research institution. The fact that we have not one but two students who got competitive research grants shows that even though we’re small, we are doing some mighty research in our labs.” 🔹 Learn more about the DeSales Biology Program
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