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Alumni Testimonials

Lauren Atkinson (Biology)

Lauren received a fellowship from the NASA Connecticut Grant Consortium to conduct research on the scorpion microbiome and its possibility to produce new antibiotics. Researching alongside her mentor, Biology Professor Barbara Murdoch, Lauren said: "We tested bacteria naturally found in the abdomens of scorpions for their ability to produce antibiotics. We hypothesize that scorpions have formed symbiotic relationships with bacteria that produce antibiotics that protect the scorpions from these pathogens." Speaking to this experience, she added: "Formulating my own research question and developing a way to test it was a challenging but exciting learning experience."

Jacob Dayton (Biology)

Jacob received a summer research fellowship from Eastern, which he used to study the Eurasian Whiskered Tern, a European bird species that's been exhibiting a peculiar range expansion of the past 20 years. "The experience and knowledge I've gained from sifting, digging and tackling all the literature is really going to help me in the future," said Jacob, who also spent long hours in the lab analyzing samples from Europe. "Learning how to find , organize and synthesize all these sources is huge." Jacob's mentor is Professor Patty Szczys.

Haley Grimason (Biology)

As a freshman, Ms. Haley Grimason earned a Marc Freeman Scholarship to conduct research over the summer of 2017. Haley explains that she "extracted, amplified, and analyzed DNA from black-clawed scorpions to test hypotheses about their responses to climate change in the Mojave and Great Basin deserts." Haley presented preliminary results from her work during the fall 2017 Biology symposium, and continues to make progress on her project. In addition, she is now working on a similar project concerning scorpions in the southeastern United States. Haley states that "being ambitious and gaining experience early on has helped tremendously in classes, especially genetics, and has allowed me to better understand what goes on in a research lab." Haley is being mentored by Professor Matthew Graham.

Lillian Hyde '17 (Biology)

Lillian completed a summer research fellowship with the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. She used the fellowship to support her research on microglia, a cell found in the central nervous system that may have implications on space travel. "Conducting NASA-supported research was a great experience,", said Hyde. "I was able to present my research experience at Eastern and encourage other to pursue their interests in science."

Katherine Burgos '17 (Biology)

Katherine landed a paid internship with Pfizer, a global pharmaceutical company based in Groton, CT, where she worked in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Research Unit to find treatments for people with obesity. "I have learned many skills and techniques that I'll be able to apply in my future career," said Katherine, who is now better acquainted with molecular techniques such as transformations, transfections and plasmid preparations. "This experience has given me new knowledge, and shown me to think more critically and to be open to new things. It's prepared me to be a better biologist."

Elizabeth DelBuono '17 (Biology)

Elizabeth is pursuing a master's degree in Genetic Counseling at Sarah Lawrence College. Her internship as an Eastern student at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine - where she conducted breast cancer research solidified her career aspirations: "I was surrounded by some of the most brilliant individuals in the world, and was immersed in the race to find an answer, a gene, a treatment, a cure." The first-generation college student was also named one of Eastern's two 2017 Barnard Scholars. "Over the course of my four years at Eastern I became a scientist, a confident student, a leader and an advocate."

Anthony Lucia '13 (Biology)

Anthony works at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Me, as a video review technician on commercial fishing boats. Lucia's responsibilities include installing electronic monitoring systems on the vessels and working with fishermen and government officials to come up with fish-handling protocols that capture the data while minimally impacting the crew. "During my time at Eastern I was able to supplement my degree with a variety of independent research, travel and important life experiences that have been invaluable in both my professional and personal life," said Lucia, who studied abroad in Australia and conducted field research with the Biology Department in the Bahamas and Costa Rica as an Eastern undergraduate. "Without the support and knowledge of my professors, I would not be doing what I love in an exciting field."

Richard Cutting '09 (Biology)

Richard has a private practice as a chiropractor at Cutting Edge Chiropractic in Tolland, CT. During his journey to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, Richard attended six colleges and universities. "The professors care and take time to sit with you… they're hands down the best."

Clayton Pollock '07 (Biology)

Clayton is a biologist for the National Park Service in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among his projects, Clayton uses acoustic telemetry to track the habitats and movements of sharks, sea turtles and important reef fish to determine the effectiveness of national park boundaries. "I wouldn't be where I am today without the foundation I received from the Biology Department. In particular, Dr. Ross Koning and Dr. Charles Booth were great mentors and the study abroad programs they led inspired me. I will never forget my experiences in Belize and San Salvador Island; those opportunities helped to define my career aspirations and provided a great deal of practical experience, not to mention how amazing the coral reefs and rain forests were!"