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Julie Ronecker

Biochemistry
Saint Louis, MO
Mentor: Ben Evans 
Project title: Folate-conjugated magnetic microspheres for targeted cancer cell treatment

Spring 2013

This semester was spent writing, reading, and conferencing.  In February, I attended a Biophysics conference in Philadelphia, PA and presented my work in the Nano and Microtechnology section (“Ligand-targeted Binding of a Novel Silicone Magnetic Microsphere”).  I received a lot of good feedback from graduate students and professors about the flow cytometry data conducted in the fall.  Additionally, Dr. Evans and I began writing the final manuscript to be submitted at the end of this summer to the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials.  It is a characterization of our high-permeability magnetic microspheres for biomedical applications.  We highlight the magnetic and mechanical properties of the spheres, their morphology, and their controllable size distribution when changing % wt. of magnetic material.  We then discuss sphere functionalization with folic acid and show binding affinity studies with folic acid receptors overexpressed on two malignant cell lines.  In April, I presented at Elon University’s SURF, finalized my literature review, and began teaching new members of the lab some of my lab protocols.  

A Lumen Program experience will certainly help me throughout my next two years with Teach for America in Connecticut.  I’ve learned how to be an independent thinker, persistent questioner, and dedicated collaborator.  Digging through the literature to understand every facet of my project will certainly prepare me for the perseverance needed when creating lesson plans.  Additionally, I have learned that nothing great is ever accomplished without collaboration.  This will certainly apply during my Teach for America experience, where I will be building relationships with fellow corp members, TFA alumni, and school administration.  Following Teach for America, I hope to enroll in allopathic medical school at a research-one institution.  My biggest challenge right now is overcoming the MCAT, but I do know that if I completed the Lumen program and undergraduate research, anything is possible!

For More Information

Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
cahilla@elon.edu

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