8th Annual Southeast Cell Science
Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 20th, 2013
Carnival Cruise Lines Science and Technology Building

St. Thomas University
Miami, Florida 

Cell Science Undergraduate Research Symposium Program


Registration, continental breakfast and poster set-up


Opening Remarks

Dr. Wim Steelant, Dean of the School of Science, Technology and Engineering Management St. Thomas University


Session I     Room: CCL 101    Oral Presentations
Moderator: Dr. Alexis Tapanes-Castillo


Fluorescent Multiplex PCR for Assessment of tet Genes in Multi-antibiotic Resistant Soil Bacteria and the Ecological                                                     Implications
Janelis Gonzalez*, Dr. DeEtta Kay Mills, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199

Sab-mediated signaling initiates mitochondrial dysfunction in an in vitro model of adipocyte aging
 Ashley A. Diaz1 and Jeremy W. Chambers2
1Department of Biological Science, College of Arts and Sciences, 2Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology,
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199

A Study of the Lung Microbiome in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Using Metagenomics
Mitch Fernandez , Melita Jaric1, Lisa Schneper , Jonathan Segal2, Eugenia Silva-Herzog2, Michael Campos , Joel Fishman3, Mathias                          Salathe3, Adam Wanner3, Juan Infante3, Kalai Mathee2, Giri Narasimhan1. 1 Bioinformatics Research Group (BioRG), School of Computing andInformation Sciences, Florida International University, Miami FL 33199. 2 Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami FL 33199. 3 Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, FL.

Testing Carea varipes and Neostauropus alternus as biological control agents for the Florida invasive plant species
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa

Karenyn M. Herdocia (1), Vanessa Valentin (1), Pilar Maul (1), and Paul Pratt (2).
(1) School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management, St. Thomas University, 16401 NW 37th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33054, (2)USDA-ARS, Invasive Plant Research Lab (IPRL), 3225 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314.

11:00-11:15                Break                      


11:00-11:45                Session II      Room: CCL 101  Oral Presentations

                                    Moderator: Dr. Severine Vanslambrouck

11:00-11:15                Structure Based Inhibitor Discovery Against Beta-lactamase

                                    in Countering Bacterial Resistance

                                                Nick Torelli and  Dr. Yu Chen.

                                                University of South Florida College of Medicine Department of Molecular                                                           Medicine  12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd  MDC 07, RM 3524, Tampa, FL 33612

11:15-11:30                Role of Ras oncogene on in Vitro 3T3-L1 preadipocyte                                                   differentiation

                                    Victor Gonzalez and Dr. Alejandro Barbieri

                                    Department of Biology, Florida International University, Miami,                                                                             FL

11:30-11:45                Antibacterial activity of Artemisia species extract on                                                        Pseudomonas aeruginosa

                                    Chad Stefancin and Dr. Alejandro Barbieri

                                    Department of Biology, Florida International University, Miami,                                                                             FL.

12:00-2:30                  Poster Session and Lunch Social

2:45-3:00                    Closing and awards for Best Poster ($250) and for Best Talk                                          ($250)



Directions to St. Thomas University

From I-95:  take the 826 Palmetto expressway west to 37th Ave.  Go 1 block south on 37th Ave. and St. Thomas is on the left.  At the guard gate tell them you need to go to Carnival Building for the Symposium and they will direct you.

We look forward to seeing everyone and if you have questions please e-mail me at


Thank You

Jeffery Plunkett, Ph.D.

2013 Symposium Chair