REU

Education: Training the next generation of scientists

Every year, the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) gives us the opportunity to remember how we were. They bring energy and as they are not tight to nostalgia, they are willing to explore new ideas, no matter how out of the box they are, and they are excited about genetic engineering projects and not afraid to be open about it, even in Maine. The power of scientific thinking.

María José Orellana Rosales, Southern Maine Community College

  • Year: 2021
  • Project: Expression of SARS-CoV-2 RBD gene in the marine protozoan Perkinsus marinus

Satyatejas Gavva Reddy, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

  • Year: 2021
  • Mentors: Peter D. Countway and José A. Fernández Robledo
  • Project: A survey of Bivalve Transmissible Neoplasia in Mya arenaria on Casco Bay in Maine (USA)

Benjamin H. Bromberg, Lewis & Clark College

  • Year: 2020
  • Project: Building a framework to generate an iPSC line for Crassostrea virginica

Adrienne N. Tracy, Colby College

  • Year: 2019
  • Project: Development and validation of gene delivery methods for Crassostrea virginica (Eastern oyster)
  • Papers:
    • Yadavalli, R., Umeda, K., Waugh, H.A., Tracy, A.N., Sidhu, A.V., Hernández, D.E., Fernández Robledo, J.A., 2021. CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein-based genome editing methodology in the marine protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 9, 238.
    • Tracy, A. N., et al. (2020). "Genome to phenome tools: In vivo and in vitro transfection of Crassostrea virginica hemocytes." Fish Shellfish Immunol 103: 438-441.
    • Fernández Robledo, J. A., et al. (2019). "From the raw bar to the bench: Bivalves as models for human health." Dev Comp Immunol 92: 260-282.
  • Honors Thesis, Department of Biology: Development and validation of gene delivery methods for Crassostrea virginica, April 2020

Hannah A. Waugh, Southern Maine Community College

  • Year: 2019
  • Project: Evaluating PmMOE expression in Perkinsus marinus using different gene delivery methods
  • Papers: Yadavalli, R., Umeda, K., Waugh, H.A., Tracy, A.N., Sidhu, A.V., Hernández, D.E., Fernández Robledo, J.A., 2021. CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein-based genome editing methodology in the marine protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 9, 238.

Riley Karp, Colby College

  • Year: 2019
  • Project: Mining the oyster (Crassostrea virginica) genome for iPSCs markers

Theodore J. Bishop, Southern Maine Community College

  • Year: 2017
  • Project: qPCR-based diagnostic survey of protozoan parasites in the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, in Maine
  • Papers: Marquis, N. D., et al. (2020). "A qPCR-Based Survey of Haplosporidium nelsoni and Perkinsus spp. in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica in Maine, USA." Pathogens 9(4).

Deja E. Best, North Carolina State University

  • Year: 2017
  • Project: Observing the relationship between Perkinsus marinus and Acartia tonsa

Sydney F. Tiemann, Colby College

  • Year: 2016
  • Project: Looking to the ocean to solve Malaria: a global health problem

Emma R. Cold, Utah Valley University

  • Year: 2015
  • Project: Heterologous expression in Perkinsus marinus for vaccination delivery
  • Papers:

    • Cold, E. R., et al. (2017). "Transient expression of Plasmodium berghei MSP8 and HAP2 in the Marine protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus." J Parasitol 103(1): 118-122.
    • Cold, E. R., et al. (2016). "An agar-based method for plating marine protozoan parasites of the genus Perkinsus." PLoS One 11(5): e0155015.

Robert (Bobby) D. Morefield, Southern Maine Community College

  • Year: 2015
  • Project: Hemocyte response to secondary infection of Dermo diseased oysters

Nicholas D. Marquis, Southern Maine Community College

  • Year: 2014
  • Project: A survey of Crassostrea virginica in Maine for pathogenic protozoa
  • Papers: Marquis, N. D., et al. (2015). "Survey for protozoan parasites in Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from the Gulf of Maine using PCR-based assays." Parasitol Int 64(5): 299-302.

Yesmalie Alemán Resto, Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico

  • Year: 2013
  • Project: Screening of a chemical library for compounds inhibiting the proliferation of the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus
  • Papers:
    • Van Voorhis, W. C., et al. (2016). "Open source drug discovery with the Malaria Box compound collection for neglected diseases and beyond." PLoS Pathog 12(7): e1005763.
    • Alemán Resto, Y. and J. A. Fernández Robledo (2014). "Identification of MMV Malaria Box inhibitors of Perkinsus marinus using an ATP-based bioluminescence assay." PLoS ONE 9(10): e111051