Yeshiva University News » Biomedical

Eleven YU Undergrads Participate in Advanced Biomedical Research Program

Eleven Yeshiva University undergraduates have been selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), an advanced biomedical research program at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Directed by Dr. Victoria Freedman, Einstein’s associate dean for graduate programs in the biomedical sciences, and Dr. Barry Potvin, professor of biology at Yeshiva College and visiting professor in the cell biology department at Einstein, the program has drawn 58 students in total from a variety of colleges and universities to engage in cutting-edge scientific studies.

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Stern College’s Nechama Dreyfus is conducting research in the animal imaging lab at Einstein’s Nuclear Medicine and Biophysics Department.

In fields ranging from neuroscience to epidemiology to microbiology, the students receive hands-on research experience in their areas of interest normally reserved for graduate-level work.

“I’m particularly enjoying my placement in Dr. Linda Jelicks’s animal imaging lab within the Nuclear Medicine and Biophysics Department at Einstein because this technology and field are completely new to me,” said Nechama Dreyfus, a biochemistry major at Stern College for Women. Read the rest of this entry…

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New Dean’s Scholars Program Offers Medical School Courses to YU Undergrads

With this year’s launch of the Einstein Enrichment Program, Yeshiva University is offering 10 select undergraduates the opportunity to take courses at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

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Einstein's Dr. Moshe Sadofsky addresses YU undergraduates as part of the Deans' Scholars Program

“The program will entail exposure to our top scientists, independent reading and highly interactive problem-based learning,” said Dr. Edward Burns, executive dean at Einstein and the program’s director. “It is designed to ignite a passion for biomedical science and medicine as it is practiced in the laboratory and clinic today, rather than from textbooks.”

Titled “Deans’ Scholars Program: Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences,” the credited cooperative academic program is being overseen by Dr. Karen Bacon, the Dr. Monique C. Katz dean at Stern College for Women, and Michal Jaff, the Beatrice Diener Presidential Follow. Fall lecture topics included Epochal Moments in Biology, Cells and Organelles, Genetic Material, Enzymes and Metabolism, Cell Communication and Stem Cells, covering material rarely taught to freshmen. In the spring semester, new topics will correlate basic science and clinical entities.

Designed specifically for first time on campus students who are interested in the biomedical sciences, the program meets six Fridays during each semester, and will require abundant involvement from participants, who will meet “very senior, famous scientists and will have to strut their stuff,” said Burns, and have access to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.

Einstein Enrichment

The program, in its first year, will expand to 20 incoming students next year.

The current cohort of Scholars will continue the program for three more years, with increasing responsibility, independence and exposure as they advance through college. Next year, up to 20 incoming students will be offered spots in the program, “assuming this pilot is a success,” said Dean Bacon.

“This program is a really great opportunity,” said participant Anne Buzzell, of Clayton, NC. “The Einstein professors are highly qualified and give really interesting and smart lectures.”

Charles Lavene, a Yeshiva College participant, said that, although he has already set his sights on attending Einstein, “the program so far has sold me on Einstein even more.”

Buzzell noted that Einstein, too, hopes to benefit from this program. “The Dean mentioned that he hopes to see more undergraduate students take advantage of what Einstein has to offer,” she said.

The administration hopes that this program will prove “a competitive advantage,” for students when applying to medical school, said Dr. Burns. “It will be as useful for getting into Einstein as it would be to get into any other medical school,” he stressed.

The idea for the program first emerged last year, when YU President Richard M. Joel approached Dr. Burns to create a unique initiative “that would tie Einstein to the undergraduate YU programs in such a way to make Yeshiva and Stern Colleges unique in the sciences,” said Dr. Burns. With assistance from Provost Morton Lowengrub, several deans, the YU pre-med advisors and Dr. Victoria Freedman, associate dean for graduate programs in the biomedical sciences, the program was formed.

Although the program is the first of its kind at YU, there are tentative thoughts of expanding the model further. “Based on this experience, we would like to try to develop something similar between the undergraduate schools and our Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law,” said Dean Bacon.

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Front Row (L-R): Esther Flaschner, Malkie Krupka, Reina Roth, Leora Cohn, Debbie Rybak, and Pesi Porat. Back Row (L-R): Yedidya Saiman, Pouyan Gohari, Ian Baine, Elie Portnoy, and Elliot Levine.

Aug 25, 2004 — Yedidya Saiman hopes his research in intercellular communication will help scientists better understand how we function. He and 10 other Yeshiva University (YU) undergraduates spent nine weeks this summer investigating causes and treatments of ailments including Alzheimer’s disease, Myoclunus-Dystonia, and multiple sclerosis under the tutelage of top biomedical scientists at the university’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Mr. Saiman, Esther Flaschner, Pouyan Gohari, Malkie Krupka, Pesi Porat, Elie Portnoy, Reina Roth, Leora Cohn, and Debbie Rybak were 2004 Roth Institute Scholars for Undergraduate Summer Research, sponsored by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Biomedical Science Education at YU in New York City. In addition, Ian Baine and Elliot Levine conducted research at Einstein as University Summer Research Scholars. The annual programs seek to enhance the educational experience of biology and science majors at YU’s Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women.

Mr. Gohari, a biology and chemistry major at Yeshiva College, studied protein interactions that promote the survival of myelin-producing cells in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. His work focused on how the survival of these cells could affect treatment for multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases. “After participating in the Roth program, I am certain that I want to become a doctor and concentrate on research,” Mr. Gohari said.

Leora Cohn, a biology major at Stern College for Women, studied velo-cardio-facial syndrome, a genetic disease that causes craniofacial and cardiac defects, and often mental retardation. Ms. Cohn’s task was to identify proteins connected to the gene causing this syndrome and how their interaction with this gene may cause abnormal development. “It is exciting to think that the research in which I was involved may help scientists understand new concepts and hopefully one day help provide a cure for genetic disease,” she said.

The students hail from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

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New York, NY, Aug 18, 2003 — Elisheva Douglas hopes her research on lupus will help scientists better understand the chronic inflammatory disease that affects thousands of Americans each year. She and nine other Yeshiva University (YU) undergraduates spent nine weeks this summer investigating causes and treatments of ailments including cancer, sickle cell anemia, and Alzheimer’s disease under the tutelage of top biomedical scientists at the University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Ms. Douglas, Nomi Ben-Zvi, Netanel Berko, Chaya Gopin, Aaron Leifer, Dina Ohevshalom, David Rabin, and David Wise were 2003 Roth Institute Scholars for Undergraduate Summer Research sponsored by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Biomedical Science Education at YU in New York City. In addition, Tova Fischer and Jeremy Mazurek conducted research at Einstein as University Summer Research Scholars. The annual programs seek to enhance the educational experience of biology and science majors at YU’s Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women.

Mr. Rabin, a biology major at Yeshiva College, investigated the relationship between adipocytes (fat cells) and breast cancer cells, since certain cancer strains require fat cells to grow and metastasize. The goal of his research was to better understand cancer cell growth and find potential methods of halting their proliferation. “I was grateful to participate in fascinating scientific research that may one day advance medicine,” Mr. Rabin said.

Tova Fischer, a biochemistry major at Stern College for Women, studied the genetic expression of Glutathione-S Transferases (GST), a class of enzymes that is involved in detoxification of noxious substances and considered effective in fighting cancers. “I felt my research was important because I had the freedom to conduct my own project, learn from my mistakes, and hone my skills,” said Ms. Fischer, “yet I was very much guided by the experienced members of the lab who taught me valuable principles in science and research.”

The students hail from California, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Israel.

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