Mobile Triggers

Genetics Research Scholars Present Findings

Rudy Brandl

Upper School science students addressed the fields of genetics and molecular biology in a series of informative presentations in the Oakwood Room on May 19. Dr. Susan Zusman, who guided the students in their yearlong research, provided a brief welcome and introduction to the program, which was attended by students, parents, faculty and administrators.

Students worked on an independent genetic research project using drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) in collaboration with active researchers at Princeton University. Having visited their mentors recently during a trip to Princeton University, the students were eager to share their research and findings.

Seven of the 12 students in the genetics research program shared presentations: AnTing Luo ’24 and Naischa Puri ’23 each addressed the role of the mek pathway in the heartbeat function of drosophila melanogaster. Simrah Razvi ’24 and Sanya Sidhu ’24 collaborated on a presentation on the function of drosophila genes during trachea development in drosophila melanogaster. Andrew Wolff ’23, Joanne Ding ’24 and Gbemi Olarewaju ’24 delivered their presentation on the interaction of the foi gene with the hedgehog signaling pathway in drosophila melanogaster.

"The research students this year made discoveries that are very important to our understanding of biological principles and human disease,” Dr. Zusman said. “For example, one group of students found evidence for a new molecule that functions in a highly conserved, very basic signaling pathway, the hedgehog signaling pathway. Abnormalities in this pathway can cause human developmental abnormalities and several cancers.”