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Summer Class of 2019 group photo

Summer Scholars and Participants Shine Bright at the Summer Science Poster Session 2019


Training the next generation of young talented scientists is a high priority at the Burke Neurological Institute. That’s why each summer we nurture young promising college and high school students with bright futures in the field of neuroscience. Over 100 undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in biomedical sciences applied for coveted spots in the Summer Science Research Program, co-directed by Dianna E. Willis, Ph.D. and John Cave, Ph.D. Eight exceptionally qualified students were selected to be a part of the Class of 2019, while four college and high school students were selected as volunteer participants.

For 10-weeks, from June to August, each student was part of a research lab and worked first-hand on cutting-edge medical research projects for neural repair and restoration to help those living with chronic neurological issues caused by strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Program participants also attend both introductory and professional level research seminars to gain exposure to a wide array of topics involved in neurological research.

To conclude the summer program, the Class of 2019 presented innovative research results at the annual Summer Student Poster Session held Friday, August 9, 2019. Their achievements and discoveries fulfilled during the summer program were acknowledged by an audience of 93 guests which included faculty, board members, alumni, family members, friends, and members and community of the Institute.

Photo of Dillon

Dillon Noone, First Place Recipient

Poster presentations were judged on research design, creativity and comprehension, and visual presentation by a panel of instructors and postdoctoral researchers. With close results, judges awarded first place to Dillon Noone, a rising senior at Wesleyan University. Mentored by Juan Sebastián Jara, Ph.D. and Edmund Hollis II, Ph.D., Noone’s project focused on “3D Visualization to Evaluate Regenerative Responses of Sensory Neurons.” Mohamed El-Abtah, a rising junior at Harvard, mentored by Natasha Koppel, Ph.D. and Yutaka Yoshida, Ph.D. was selected as the runner-up for his project on “Anatomical and Functional Analysis of vGlut-Cre Interneurons.”

Congratulations to the Summer Science Scholars and Participants on an exceptional poster session. Mentors of the Institute wish to thank the Class of 2019 for all of your hard work and contributions made during the past 10-weeks. Best wishes to the each and every summer student as they return to their home campus in the Fall in pursuit of their bright futures. 

Summer Science Scholars - Class of 2019 

Reina Ashizawa
Poster Title: Observing Proportional Recovery in Mouse Models of Stroke
Mentors: Mustafa Balkaya, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Tufts University, Class of 2021

Lisa Brontesi
Poster Title: Establishing an In Vivo Model of Adult Human Neurogenesis
Mentors: Gary Gibson, Ph.D.; Huanlian Chen, M.S.
Academic Institution/Year: Boston University, Class of 2021

Lydia Currie
Poster Title: Impact of Therapeutic Brain Stimulation on Upper Limb Training in Unilateral Cerebral Palsy
Mentors: Kathleen Friel, Ph.D.; Claudio Ferre, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: University of Rochester, Class of 2020

Jeromy DiGiacomo
Poster Title: Specification of Bulbar-Cervical Corticospinal Projections
Mentors: Payal Patel, M.S.; Julia Kaiser, Ph.D.; Vibhu Sahni, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Williams College, Class of 2020

Mohamed El-Abtah
Poster Title: Anatomical and Functional Analysis of vGlut-Cre Interneurons
Mentors: Natasha Koppel, Ph.D.; Yutaka Yoshida, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Harvard, Class of 2021

Raghavee Neupane
Poster Title: Kinematic Assessment of Upper Limb Movements in Patients with Ataxia
Mentors: Tomoko Kitago, M.D.; Stuart Mackenzie, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Miami University, Class of 2021

Dillon Noone
Poster Title: 3D Visualization to Evaluate Regenerative Responses of Sensory Neurons
Mentors: Edmund Hollis II, Ph.D.; Juan Sebastián Jara, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Wesleyan University, Class of 2020

Anya Wang
Poster Title: Zeb2 Transcription Factor Contributes to Stroke-Induced Scar Formation
Mentors: Il-doo Kim, Ph.D.; Sunghee Cho, Ph.D.; John Cave, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: University of Chicago, Class of 2022

Summer Science Participants - Class of 2019 

Lauren Azrin
Poster Title: Pericyte Polarity is Dependent on Location Along the Retinal Vasculature
Mentors: Botir Sagdullaev, Ph.D.; Elena Ivanova, Ph.D.; Paola Bianchimano, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: White Plains High School, Class of 2021

Anshuman Das
Poster Title: The Effect of Ferroptotic Inhibitors on Cell Death Induced by Sodium Arsenite Formed Stress Granules
Mentors: Nandini Kundu, Ph.D.; Rajiv Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Irvington High School, Class of 2021

Sonia Seth
Poster Title: KDM4C, A Histone Demethylase, As a Primary Target In Neuroprotection Against Ferroptotic Cell Death
Mentors: Amit Kumar, Ph.D.; Rajiv Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Edgemont High School, Class of 2020

Rebecca Taylor
Poster Title: EphA4 cKO Promotes Recovery after CST Injury
Mentors: Edmund Hollis II, Ph.D.; Nadjat Serradj, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Georgetown University, Class of 2022

Michael Wong
Poster Title: Improving Curveball: Making Vision Measurement Fast and Reliable
Mentors: Jeremy Hill, D. Phil.; Scott Mooney, Ph.D.; Glen Prusky, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Tenafly High School, Class of 2021