Budding YU Scientists Spend Summer In Lab

Jul 27, 2009 — Ten Yeshiva University (YU) 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 Long Island natives, Yona Saperstein and Motti Friedman—both Roth Scholars.

“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 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.

Saperstein, son of Drs. Adena an Avi, is researching the effects of hyperoxia on actin polymerization under the mentorship of Dr. Ben Ovryn.

Friedman, son of Dr. Elliot and Anita, plans on applying to medical school shortly. He is researching under the guidance of Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova.

“I was debating whether I wanted a career in medicine or not,” said Saperstein. “Thanks to my experiences at YU, I have decided to pursue a career in biomedical sciences.”

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.

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