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Graduate Student Research Showcased During Dawn Marks Research Day

News August 31, 2021

Dawn Marks Research Day After moving online in 2020, the annual Dawn Marks Research Day, the popular student research showcase at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, returned in-person on August 27 for its 20th year.  

The exuberance was evident.     

“It’s wonderful to be back in person and to see the excitement of the students sharing their science,” said Dianne Soprano, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate and MD/PhD Programs at the Katz School of Medicine.  

The Dawn Marks Research Day features the scientific work of the Katz School’s PhD, MD/PhD, and MS students in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. This year’s event featured 32 poster exhibits in the morning and eight oral presentations in the afternoon.  

The annual research extravaganza honors the late Dawn Marks, PhD, who was a Katz School Biochemistry faculty member for 31 years and Assistant Dean for Graduate Education from 1984 to 1998. During her tenure at Temple, she co-authored the still widely used textbook, Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach.  

Interim Katz School Dean Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, kicked off the day by welcoming the students and telling them about Dr. Marks – a fantastic teacher who taught her a lot. Dr. Marks didn’t just teach science. She taught how to communicate science, how to convey it and explain it. 

“I can feel the excitement of science in the air today,” said Dr. Goldberg. “If Dr. Marks were here, she’d be so proud of all of you!”  

Each year, Dawn Marks Research Day is organized by the school’s Graduate Student Association, led this year by President Joice Kanefsky, a fourth-year PhD candidate.  

Due to the COVID pandemic, “last year we were only able to hold a few oral presentations online and no posters,” Ms. Kanefsky said. “Everyone is excited to be back in person this year. It’s very important to be able to communicate your science and learn to talk to different audiences, and that’s what this day is all about.”   

Dawn Marks Award WinnersThe day concluded with the presentation of awards. The winners were as follows: 

Poster Session 

  • Year two/three, 1st Place: Jacklyn Huhn – Identification of ATF4 as key upstream regulator of acute myeloid leukemia cell metabolism 
  • Year two/three: 2nd Place: Amanda Peluzzo  -  IL-19 associated lymphangiogenesis promotes atherosclerotic plaque reduction 
  • Year four, 1st Place: Daniel Farkas – Kratom alkaloid mitragynine inhibits mechanical allodynia and neuroinflammation associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) 
  • Year four, 2nd Place: Nadina Latchman -  PDZ8 tethers the sarcoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria in cardiomyocytes 
  • Year five, 1st Place: Deborah Eaton - Cardiomyocyte function and myofilament calcium sensitivity are altered by HDAC inhibition 
  • Year five, 2ndnd Place: Christopher Parry - Rescuing tumor suppressor pVHL using stabilizing small molecules 

Oral Presentations 

  • Bethany Terry – YAP/TAZ dysregulation contributes to brain pathology in tuberous sclerosis complex 
  •  Marcus Wagner -  Corticol bone derived stem cells establish a pro-reparative inflammatory response in the myocardial infarcted heart 

Graphical Abstract 

  • Kimberly Ferrero - GRK2 regulates mitochondrial bioenergetics in the heart 

Teaching Award 

Scott Rawls, PhD
Professor, Neural Sciences
Professor, Center for Substance Abuse Research 
Professor, Biomedical Education and Data Science