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UB Undergraduates Showcase Research to Elected Officials and SUNY Chancellor

Release Date: March 7, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four University at Buffalo students presented original research in diverse fields to elected officials and State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher as part of "Discovery -- An Undergraduate Showcase," a symposium on undergraduate research and creative activities presented by the SUNY Faculty Senate.

They are: Maxwell Bileschi, a junior mathematics and computer science major; Sourobh Ghosh, a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major; Gary Iacobucci, a biological sciences and psychology major; and Jason Ma, a junior pharmacology and toxicology major. The alternative entrant was Caitlin McLeod, a theater design and fine arts major.

In all, more than 90 original projects were introduced by 125 SUNY undergraduates and 40-plus faculty research mentors who hailed from 23 of SUNY's four-year college campuses and university centers and from 13 community college campuses.

"The turnout, and the support from our elected officials has been outstanding," says Timothy Tryjankowski, director UB Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, who accompanied the students to Albany, where the Feb. 29 symposium was held. "Senators and Assembly members from all over the state came to the Legislative Office Building, where the event was held, to meet with participating students and find out about the amazing research and creative projects conducted by our undergraduates.

"More state support means more discovery, more chances to cure disease or solve other social problems we may be facing," he says. "The symposium tells the story of how investment in SUNY and its undergraduate research leads to new business, new solutions. It is a powerful story."

Tryjankowski was co-chair of the 2012 program and architect of the biannual symposium itself, to which, he says, a select group of SUNY undergraduates are invited to present meaningful research and creative work developed on various SUNY campuses.

The UB student participants and their projects were selected by faculty members and administrators from across the campus who conducted a comprehensive review of proposals.

Ma's project was titled, "The MT1 Melatonin Receptor As A Principal Mediator On Methamphetamine-Induced Sensitization in C57BL/6." His mentor was Margarita Dubocovich, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Ghosh's, project was titled "Advocating a Social Media-Based Comprehensive Method to Universal Design." His faculty mentor was Kemper Lewis, PhD, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Bileschi was mentored in preparing his project, "Weights of Boolean Cubic Monomial Rotation Symmetric Functions" by Thomas Cusick, PhD, professor, Department of Mathematics.

Iacobucci, whose project was titled "Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Axonal Transport Defects in Primary Neuronal Cultures from Drosophila Larvae," was mentored by Shermali Gunawardena, PhD, research assistant professor, Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, Department of Biological Sciences.

McLeod's project was titled "Clothing as Performance." She was mentored by Catherine Norgren, professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, and associate dean for faculty affairs, UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu