Students attend Beta Beta Beta Conference

Four West Virginia Wesleyan College students represented the school at the Northeast Region III Beta Beta Beta Undergraduate Research Conference on March 23 at the Living Learning Conference Center on the Pitt-Johnstown Campus in Johnstown, Pa.

Zach Lonergan, a junior biology major and chemistry and honors minor from Elkins, presented his research, “Operon Characterization of the Putative Shape-Determining Genes mreB and mreC in the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.” He was awarded an honorable mention for the John C. Johnson Award for Excellence in Student Research.

“The Tri-Beta Conference was a great opportunity to showcase our WVWC research to other Tri-Beta chapters throughout the Northeast,” Lonergan said. “It was nice to be recognized for my project and see how other students are attempting to tackle difficult research questions.”

Peter Kibler, a senior biology and chemistry double major from Frankford, presented with Caleb Judy, sophomore biology major from Beverly. Their presentation topic was the “Characterization of the Putative Shape Determining Gene mreB in B. burgdorferi.” Kibler and Judy were awarded third place for the John C. Johnson Award for Excellence in Student Research.

“This was a wonderful event, which allowed us to exchange information and created an environment conducive to exploring multifaceted student research,” Kibler said.

Also participating was Ben Kordusky, a senior biology major and chemistry minor from Charleston. He presented on the “Characterization of the putative shape determining gene mreC in the Lyme Disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.”

“This conference was a great way to meet other members of Tri-Beta and learn about the fascinating research that others are performing,” Kordusky said. “I recommend that other Wesleyan Tri-Beta members attend this event in the future.”

All presenters are research students of Dr. Melanie Sal, assistant professor of biology.