2009 Roth Scholars and University Summer Research Scholars

Jul 22, 2009 — Ten Yeshiva University students are spending their summer conducting innovative scientific research as Roth Scholars and University Summer Research Scholars. The undergraduate students are working alongside top scientific researchers at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

The impressive group includes Tirtza Spiegel, David Kuppermann, Yona Saperstein, Fay Burekhovich, Chava Ruderman, Emily Liebling, Shoshana Zitter, Motti Friedman, Chaim Golfeiz, and Avital Bauman.

“The eight students in the Roth Scholars program and the two 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 YU, 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.

Kuppermann, a Roth Scholar, is studying DiGeorge Syndrome in both model organisms and human patients with Dr. Bernice Morrow. “The ability to see in practice what I have read in textbooks is fascinating to me,” said the Antwerp, Belgium native.

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

Bauman, a University Summer Research Scholar from Baltimore, MD is researching the relationship between endocannabinoid proteins and HIV under the guidance of Dr. Melissa Nashat and Dr. Sunhee Lee.

“Being a part of the academic and scientific world is fascinating, yet humbling,” explains Bauman. “However, this experience has been truly rewarding. The extracurricular activities offered at YU have encouraged me to work hard in pursuing a career in medicine and global health.”