Florida Tech Students Earn Honors for Advancing Understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease

MELBOURNE, FLA. – Florida Institute of Technology students recently earned first award in the undergraduate student poster presentation at the 86th Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME) at Innisbrook, Fla .

Their poster, which traced the dynamics of protein aggregation, provided new evidence to support a model introduced previously by Dr. Xu to explain how proteins aggregate and form fibers during Alzheimer’s disease. Their research was accomplished with use of a microplate reader, purchased a year ago through support from the Brevard Community Foundation and NASA.

The lead author was Gillian Belnavis, a May 2010 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Co-authors were Vinit Shanbhag, Vishal Mhatre, PurvilYogeshbhai Sukhadia and Vishvpreet Singh, current graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences’ biotechnology program; Lisa Cole a chemical engineering graduate student; and Ben Burnett, who earned a master’s degree in physics in May 2010.

The faculty advisers were Shaohua Xu, professor of biological sciences, and Sam Durrance, professor of physics and space sciences.


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