September 21, 2009

Two Undergraduates Win Honorable Mention at
2009 Society of Mathematical Biology Meeting


Two undergraduate students who've teamed up to model and predict regulators in a signaling pathway important for certain cancers, won honorable mention for their poster explaining their research at the 2009 Society of Mathematical Biology meeting.

Alex Galante, now a junior biology major, and Ted Roman, now a junior with a double major in computer sciences and mathematics, competed against nearly 120 teams and individuals, who ranged from undergraduates to college faculty members. They were among the three presenters to receive such recognition.

Roman and Galante, members of the Research at the Interface of Biological and Mathematical Sciences program here, continue to study what's called the Wnt signaling pathway, a complex network of proteins that affect fundamental processes of development.

"They've developed algorithms to identify novel components of the network," said Rob Ewing, assistant professor at the Case Center for Proteomics, who, along with Mehmet Koyuturk, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, advises the team. "They help identify what to test in the lab."

At the meeting, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, "It was really interesting to see how mathematics is being used to explain and predict different biological phenomena," Galante said.

Roman said, "That I was able to confront questions about the research's aim, validity and consequences from leading world scientists… provided me with valuable experience."

Both said they've returned to school more confident and motivated.

The goals of the RIBMS program are to:

  1. Engage undergraduate scientists in the growing mathematical biology research community at Case and break down barriers to mutlidisciplinary communication ;
  2. Provide an intensive, three-semester research experience in which students collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, under the supervision of interdisciplinary teams of Case faculty; and
  3. Encourage students to pursue graduate training at the interface of the biological and mathematical sciences.

The RIBMS program is co-directed by Robin Snyder, Department of Biology, and Peter Thomas, Department of Mathematics.

For more information contact Kevin Mayhood, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, September 21, 2009 01:04 PM | News Topics: Awards, College of Arts and Sciences, Events, Faculty, Provost Initiatives, Research, Students, features, news

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