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Seton Hill to Host Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Biology Research Symposium April 2

Seton Hill Alum to Speak; Current Students Among Presenters

March 29, 2016

Seton Hill to Host Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Biology Research Symposium April 2

What: Seton Hill University will host the 37th Annual Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Biology Research Symposium. This one-day event is an opportunity for undergraduate students from Western Pennsylvania colleges and universities to present their original research through presentations and posters.

When: Saturday, April 2, 2016. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Ridge Lecture Hall, JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center, Seton Hill University’s hilltop campus.

Who: Undergraduate students from throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania will present research they have conducted in a variety of biological areas. Students will present through lectures and poster presentations.

Among the presenters will be Seton Hill students Zachary Sheffler, Benjamin Mayro and Diana Mansour, who will present research they have conducted both at Seton Hill University and through a Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Keynote speaker for the event is Seton Hill alumna Amanda Willard, who is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. She received a B.S. in Biology from Seton Hill University in 2012. She is currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Aryn Gittis. Amanda’s research focuses on how behavior as well as neural activity within the basal ganglia, an area of the brain involved in voluntary movement, change throughout the course of Parkinson’s disease. She has been the recipient of multiple fellowships including traineeship on a University of Pittsburgh NIH Predoctoral Training Grant in Basic Neuroscience in 2013, the Dolmetsch Carnegie Graduate Fellowship from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition in 2014, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation Presidential Fellowship in the Life Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015. She was recently awarded a Predoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in support of her research. Amanda is also invested in undergraduate education and science outreach.

Background:  The Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Biology Research Symposium is held annually at a different college or university in Western Pennsylvania, and Seton Hill is hosting this event for the first time. More than 100 students and faculty members from area colleges and universities are expected to attend.