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Recent Monmouth University graduates Afroditi Emporelli of Manalapan, NJ and Vincent Marchese of Magnolia, NJ won the “honorable mention” John C. Johnson Award for Excellence in student research for their poster presentation in the Molecular Biology category at the TriBeta Biennial National Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico May 14 to 20. The title of their poster was “Cadherin Regulation in Fibroblast and Fibrosarcoma Cells: Influence of Culture Density and MAPK Activity.”

Their research was funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health given to Monmouth University Professor Dottie Lobo. Their project examined the role of signaling protein pathways in regulating growth control of human cells grown in culture, and will help to identify changes in cell signaling that occur in cancerous cells. Afroditi and Vincent both graduated from Monmouth University with honors on May 16, and immediately left from the graduation ceremony to attend the conference in Puerto Rico. Afroditi and Vincent also presented their work at the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists conference at Seton Hall University in October and at the national meeting of the Society for Cell Biology in Denver, CO in December. Both are pursuing careers in the medical field.

Also in attendance at the conference and presenting research from Monmouth University were graduates Dharm Patel and Bryan Martin, and undergraduate students Trevor Wood and Smriti Agrawal.

TriBeta (Beta Beta Beta) is a national biological honor society, with more than 553 chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.  Under the direction of faculty advisor Dr. Pedram Daneshgar, the Monmouth University chapter currently has approximately 30 members, and promotes excellence in academic scholarship and research.

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig or Rosaly Rivera at 732-571-3526