Cohort 3

Allyson Bunbury

A MARC scholar between 2000 and 2002, Allyson Bunbury graduated with a B.S. in biology in February 2003. Allyson, who is originally from Guyana, has been interested in the biomedical field since she was nine. She worked with two research mentors while in the MARC Program. First, with Professor of Psychology Stephen Lepore, she worked on research in psycho-neuro-immunology, on expressive writing and health outcomes, studying the effect of emotions on health when subjects write about stressful events. She also worked on research in biochemistry with Professor Lesley Davenport, of the Chemistry Department, on the topic of HIV-1 nuclear import using fluorescence spectroscopic methods. She attended and presented posters at several conferences, including symposia of the Leadership Alliance ("Expressive Writing and Health"), the National Minority Research Symposium ("Writing and Health: The Role of Emotion Regulation") and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students ("The Writing Cure: The Role of Emotion Regulation"). Allyson was accepted to Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Division of Pathology working on a project that studies the characterization of electron-dense lysosomal MHC Class II compartments and the modality of surface trafficking of MHC molecules during myeloid dentritic cell differenciation.

Tamara Edwards

Tamara Edwards began the MARC program in 2000. She was interested in the biomedical research and with cancer research in particular. Tamara worked with Associate Professor Jean Grassman in the Health and Nutrition Sciences Department. Grassman is conducting research on the effects of environmental toxins on humans. In 2001, Tamara presented a poster at a Society for Toxicology meeting in San Francisco ("CYP1A2 Expression in Lymphocytes as a Biomarker for Hepatic Sequestration"). This research was subsequently published in The Toxicologist. Tamara also presented posters at the National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. She presented "CYP1A2 Expresison N Lymphocytes as a Biomarker for Hepatic Sequestration" at the 2001 Leaderhship Alliance Summer Symposium in Georgia. At the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Orlando, Fla., she presented a poster entitled "Estimating Hepatic Dioxin-induced CYP1A2 Expression with Surrogate Cells." In summer 2001, Tamara did a research externship at Bristol-Myers Squibb, which led her to become interested in research in the pharmaceutical industry. She graduated from in January 2003 and did a postbaccalaureate program in research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine from 2003 to 2005. She then went on to Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia where she received her graduate degree in 2007. That same year, she began work as a research associate at Redox Pharmaceutical until 2009 and as a research associate II at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where she works presently.

Angela Erazo

A MARC scholar between 2000 and 2002, Angela Erazo graduated with a B.S. in biology in 2002. At Brooklyn College, Angela worked with Professor Kathleen Axen in the Health and Nutrition Sciences Department. She worked on diabetes research, particularly Type-2 diabetes mellitus. Angela presented posters at the National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. ("Effect of High-fat Diet on Islet Size and Lipid Content: A Model for Development of Islet Defects in Type-2 Diabetes Mellitis") and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Orlando, Fla. ("Effect of Fasting and Lipid Availability on Islet Response to Glucose in Dietary Obese Rats"). With her mentor, she presented a poster on this research ("Effect of Fasting and Lipid Availability on ISLET Response to Glucose in Dietary Obesity Rates") at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in Quebec in 2001. In addition, she had an opportunity to conduct research through the Leadership Alliance Early Identification Program's summer internship at Columbia University Medical School under the direction of Dr. Brett Lauring in the Department of Pharmacology. She gave a talk about this research ("Identification of Novel Alpha Synuclein Binding Patterns") at the Leadership Alliance 2001 summer symposium in Stone Mountain, Ga. Angela was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh in a Ph.D. program in July 2004. Her first rotation was in Dr. Frank Jenkins' lab on Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus. Her second was with Dr. Paul Kinchington, who works with varicella-zoster virus, another herpesvirus. In 2010 Angela graduated with a Ph.D. from the Univerity of Pittsburg and began as a postdoctoral associate at Columbia University Medical Center.

Kester Haye

A biology major who entered the MARC Program in June 2000, Kester Haye's faculty mentor was Professor Ray Gavin, in whose lab he conducted research on nuclear segregation in Tetrahymena. Kester is a recipient of the full-tuition four-year Brooklyn College Foundation Presidential Honors Scholarship. He has presented posters at the National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. ("Amitosis in the ciliate Tetrahumena thermophila") and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Orlando, Fla. ("Characterization of Cell Death in Ovaries of Female-Sterile and Drosophila Mutants"). The latter work was the result of research done as part of the Leadership Alliance Early Identification Program in summer 2001, under the direction of Dr. Tulle Hazelrigg in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He also made an oral presentation on the work at Columbia ("Characterization of Cell Death in the Ovaries of a Drosophila Fly Mutant") at the 2001 Leadership Alliance summer symposium in Virginia. Kester is currently in graduate school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he is part of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, which works on infectious diseases and the pathogens that cause them.

Elizabeth Tyson

A chemistry major whose goal was to obtain a Ph.D. in biochemistry, Elizabeth Tyson became a MARC scholar in 2000. She was a transfer student from New York City Technical College and the College of Staten Island. While in the MARC program , Elizabeth worked with Professor Zhen Huang of the Chemistry Department. Huang is researching the role of nucleic acid in living organisms, in vitro and in vivo. Elizabeth presented posters at the National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. ("Synthesis of SE-Nucleosides as Potential Anticancer and Antiviral Therapeutics") and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Orlando, Fla. ("Regulation of Alpha-2 Adrenergic Receptors in Adult and Periadolescent Rat Brains by Chronic Desepramine Treatment"). The latter poster was based on work she did during a summer internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the direction of professors Jean Deupree and David Bylund in the Department of Pharmacology. She also presented a poster ("Synthesis of Selenium-containing Nucleotides at Potential Anticancer and Antiviral Therapeutics"). In fall 2001, Elizabeth was honored as a National Role Model Awardee at the Minority Access 2001 meeting for her work mentoring other students in research while she was a student at New York City Technical College. She is curently pursuing a graduate degree at Hunter College (CUNY).