Joseph Balsamo
Biotechnology

"Exploring Signaling Mechanisms in the Developing Nervous System"

Faculty Mentor: Mark Gabriele

Complications of the auditory system are one of the leading healthcare problems in the US. Research within Gabriele laboratory at JMU has shown that a family of receptor tyrosine kinases known as Eph-ephrins plays a substantial role in determining auditory synapses. Studies have also indicated that Eph-ephrins form synapses based on complex concentration gradients within individual auditory centers of the brain. To better understand these gradients, the proposal offers an opportunity to develop microfluidic chambers in the Deppmann laboratory at the University of Virginia.

Read more about Joe's project.

Caitlin McAvoy
Theater & Dance

"Bringing Dance to the Girls Who Need It Most"

Faculty Mentor: Kate Arrecchi

This dance program is a two-week session under my teaching and direction for the physically and mentally disabled girls of Deborah House in Timisoara, Romania. The session will conclude with a final dance performance for the other girls of Deborah House, the leaders of Deborah House, and local members of the community.

Ready more about Caitlin's project and watch a video (below) about her dance therapy program in Romania

Emily Thyroff
Biology

"Rainforest Ecology Studies in Australia"

Faculty Mentor: Heather Griscom

The proposed project is to participate in Rainforest Ecology Studies in Cairns, Australia through the School for Field Studies. The program's goal is to further research on rainforest ecosystem dynamics to restore rainforests after they have been destroyed. I will be taking 16 credit hours and answering a biological question that is complimentary to research on ginseng restoration in Appalachia. 

Read more about Emily's project.

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