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Monmouth University students Patrycja Bolewska and Krystal Orlando received awards at the 66th annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference held April 14, 2012, at William Paterson University.  More than 250 students, representing twenty colleges or universities, participated in the conference.  Patrycja and Krystal are biology majors with a concentration in molecular cell physiology and work with Biology Professor Dennis Rhoads in his research lab. Part of their research work fulfills the requirements for biology department honors. 

Patrycja Bolewska won an award for outstanding poster presentation in the category of molecular biology.  Her work is directed toward understanding changes in the adolescent brain that occur during alcohol consumption and may be associated with alcohol dependency.  The title of her presentation was “Down-regulation of adenosine A1 receptors in adolescent brain during chronic alcohol consumption.”   Patrycja will be graduating in May.  She has worked with Dr. Dennis Rhoads in the lab for three semesters and participated in the 2011 School of Science summer research program.

Krystal Orlando won an award for outstanding oral platform presentation of her work studying the effects of the drug buspirone in a model for understanding human obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  The title of her presentation was “OCD-like repetitive behaviors: pharmacological dissection of the adolescent brain.”  Krystal is a sophomore and has been working with Dr. Rhoads in the lab for a full year beginning with the 2011 School of Science summer research program.  Krystal’s work combined with that of several earlier biology majors has recently been accepted for publication in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.

About 66th Annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC)

Since 1947, the Eastern Colleges Science Conference has provided a forum for undergraduates to present their empirical and discovery-based research in the natural sciences and engineering, using the general format of a professional meeting.  Over the years, interest has increased in the conference:  over 50 colleges and universities have participated.  The range of subject matter has also expanded and now includes the computer, behavioral, earth, environmental, health, and social sciences, as well as the original areas of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering.  Students may give platform (oral) presentations, poster presentations, and/or full-length papers.   For more information, visit

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig or Rosaly Rivera at 732-571-3626