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Monmouth University Biology Major and Honors Student Genevieve Fasano Presented Research at Two National Conferences in April

Monmouth University senior biology major Genevieve Fasano of Wall, NJ, recently presented her research at two national conferences. She presented at the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Andrology (ASA) in Atlanta, GA.

Fasano was among 4,200 undergraduates from across the country to present research at the NCUR in Lexington, KY, April 3-5. The mission of the NCUR is to promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creativity in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education. Fasano presented research carried out under the supervision of School of Science Dean and Biology Professor, Dr. Michael A. Palladino, as her honors thesis. Fasano’s work has been designed to identify genes in male reproductive organs that are affected by bacterial infections of the reproductive tract. Infections of reproductive organs are a cause of reduced fertility or infertility in males and females. Investigating how genes are affected by infections and inflammation is important for understanding how these organs fight off bacterial infections and for understanding what happens to tissues when cells cannot protect themselves from infection.

Following her poster presentation in Kentucky, Fasano flew to Atlanta, GA to meet Palladino at the ASA conference held April 5-8. She received a $500 travel award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to attend the conference, where she was one of a select handful of undergraduate students to present research. The annual ASA meeting is a national and international gathering of approximately 300 scientists involved in basic and clinical research on male reproductive biology, endocrinology, and related areas. The ASA Trainee Affairs Committee evaluates travel award applications from pre-doctoral, doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical fellows and provides awards through support of a grant from the NIH.

Palladino explains, “Genevieve’s research has identified about two dozen genes that respond to inflammation of the male reproductive tract. This work has provided an important baseline understanding of inflammatory responses in the testis and will be the basis for follow-up studies in our lab by other researchers.”

Fasano is an honors student who will begin medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine this fall.

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