Jul 27, 2007 — Twelve Yeshiva University (YU) undergraduate science students are taking advantage of an exciting opportunity. They are spending the summer doing research with top scientific scholars at the university’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) in the Bronx. It is one of two programs that allow undergraduates with interest in science to participate in ongoing research projects.

“The eight students in the Roth Scholars program and the four students in the University Summer Research Scholars program are paired with scientists at Einstein to gain experience conducting cutting-edge scientific research,” said Barry Potvin, PhD, professor of biology at YU and chairperson of the Roth Summer Research Fellowship Committee. The annual ten-week program, sponsored by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Biomedical Science Education at Yeshiva University, provides each student with a stipend and campus housing

“Each program has its own funding, and both allow undergraduate science students the chance to experience high-level research with university scientists,” Dr. Potvin said. The students work in teams alongside graduate and post-doctoral students.

Sarah Guigui, of Marseille, France, a student at YU’s Stern College for Women, said working in the lab of Anne Bresnick, PhD, an associate professor of biochemistry who studies the molecular mechanisms regulating cell motility and cell division, exposed her to the day-to-day life of working in a lab. “I plan on pursuing a medical career and will be applying to medical school this summer. Working with Dr. Bresnick has made me realize that research is a viable option within my medical career goals,” the biochemistry major said.

According to Dr. Potvin, although most of the students are considering medical careers, this experience often piques their interest in research, and pushes them to apply to MD/PhD programs.

Ashrei Bayewitz, of Teaneck, NJ, is working in the lab of Bridget Shafit-Zagardo, PhD, professor of pathology, studying central nervous proteins in mice that hold particular significance in Alzheimer’s disease.

Nilly Brodt, a biology major from Montreal, is working with Tom Meier, PhD, studying a mysterious organelle (a discrete structure of a cell having specialized functions) found in human uterus tissue for only four days of the ovulation cycle.

Each year a few of the students continue their research at AECOM, or use the experience as a way to form professional relationships with other researchers so they can participate in similar work at labs closer to YU’s midtown Beren campus or its Washington Heights Wilf campus.

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