TRED Annual Report FY2021

NSU DIVISION OF RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NSU DIVISION OF RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 11 10 GRETCHEN SPENCER A second-year graduate student in NSU’s Master of Science in Marine Science program, in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, Gretchen Spencer works in the lab of Tyler Cyronak, Ph.D., which focuses on biogeochemical cycles in marine and coastal ecosystems—such as reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves—and how these systems may be impacted by climate change. Spencer’s long-term career goal is to work in the policy sector to address major societal issues related to the environment. As a step toward this goal, after defending her thesis next year, she will be applying for a fellowship that will support working on environmental policy issues in the federal government. COLTON SIMMONS Fourth-year student in the College of Pharmacy, Colton Simmons is pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences through the college’s Molecular Medicine and Pharmacogenomics concentration. He currently works in the AutoNation Institute for Breast Cancer Research and Care, run by Jean Latimer, Ph.D., located on the fourth floor of the Center for Collaborative Research. Simmons’ research involves the DNA repair pathway and nucleotide excision repair (NER) in breast cancer. He is part of a team that focuses on treatment mechanisms and approaches. Latimer’s lab discovered a microRNA that decreases NER repair in breast cancer cell lines, thus making them sensitive to chemotherapy. This has a tremendous implication for how to treat late-stage breast cancer and decrease the amount of chemotherapy required for treatment. When his doctorate is complete, Simmons aspires to work in industry, namely in a pharmaceutical company doing benchwork in their research and development unit. ROSE LEEGER Farquhar Honors College student Rose Leeger has developed an app that optimizes the data collection process for researchers in the field. The app, called “Everglades Research for Mosquitofish Data Collection,” allows researchers to upload pictures and input data into premade categories for a more efficient and accurate method of data collection. Leeger, a junior who is triple majoring in marine biology, environmental science, and biology created the app using software on ESRI’s ArcGIS system as part of her final project in her Geographic Information Systems course. The app has proven to be a handy alternative to the waterproof paper and pencils previously used in the field, allowing Leeger and her peers to conveniently collect and organize data on their phones. This data is then uploaded to an online data collection system that makes it easy for them to locate past data and identify trends in their research. Leeger plans to continue pursuing her passion for marine environment conservation by getting her Ph.D. to become a professor who can inspire future generations to do the same. NABIHA ATIQUZZAMAN A junior in the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (KPCOM), Nabiha Atiquzzaman is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Her research project with Jessica Brown, Ph.D., and Katie Crump, Ph.D., faculty from the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, involves the exploration of methods in identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) indicative of periodontal disease. This breakthrough methodology of VOC use has shown to be a way to not only diagnose, but also prevent other diseases— not just limited to periodontal disease. By working in the lab with VOC collection analysis, conducting literature reviews /presentations, and running data analyses, Atiquzzaman has learned the global importance of this research and its applicability to all specialties of medicine. When she completes her undergraduate studies, Atiquzzaman aspires to continue her education by joining one of the graduate programs KPCOM has to offer. STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS