Monday, June 24, 2013

Ashland Biology major entering dental school at Case Western Reserve University

Recent graduate Zack Haley (Biology '13) will be starting this Fall at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.  Zack conducted research for three years with Dr. Mason Posner while at Ashland and had the opportunity to present his work at the 2012 annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of Sciences and at two undergraduate research symposia held at Ashland University.

Zack's research examined how a type of stress protein involved in preventing diseases as diverse as lens cataract, cancer and Alzheimer's disease are produced.  Zack used the model fish species the zebrafish to examine how regions of DNA that switch on the production of these stress proteins work.  The image below shows a 3-day old zebrafish that is glowing green wherever one of these DNA switches is active. This image was part of a poster presentation given by Dr. Posner at the 2013 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology last month in Seattle, Washington.

Green fluorescent protein showing activation of a DNA
switch for a disease preventing stress protein
In addition to his research experience, Zack's coursework at Ashland University and his shadowing experiences with local dentists paved the way for his successul application to an excellent dental school.

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