Summer Science

Twenty-five students swapped sunscreen and beach towels for lab coats and microscopes to conduct summer research in the college’s labs through NH INBRE—the New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. NH INBRE funds the work of biomedical researchers, students and professionals to promote top-level biomedical research and research training in New Hampshire. Biochemistry major Andrew Bompastore ’18 (pictured below) completed his third summer researching via INBRE. Bompastore is using fission yeasts as a model for human cells, investigating the survival of the mutant yeasts, similarly to how mutant cancer cells grow and thrive. “I like applying what I learn in classes,” he says. “I get to use the actual techniques and see how it applies to the real world.”

Andrew Bompastore ’18Natural science major Amanda Desimone ’19 and psychology major Marie Bonin ’18 are also seeing their studies come to life. Desimone is using a dataset to research the positive association between exercise and cognition in adults while Bonin is looking at how adaptive coping mechanisms and stress impact cognition, specifically on cancer patients.

Senior nursing major Hannah Pirozzoli is working with Professor Deb McCarter, the only Saint Anselm faculty member funded by INBRE, in a study about postpartum depression and stress for new mothers. Together, Pirozzoli and McCarter are testing a system that might help resolve difficulties faced by new families. Psychology majors Stephanie Modrak ’19 and Taylor Francis ’18 tested groups of middle and high school runners during cross country clinics, as the runners performed different types of exercise throughout the day.

“Doing research myself has given me a great sense of patience and appreciation for the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of science,” says Francis. “When reading published literature, it is a quick way of obtaining a deeper understanding of the material, but when you build a research study, you are welcomed with the many challenges and obstacles you do not account for along the way. Learning how to manage these obstacles and work with them the best you can has been one of the greatest takeaways for myself this summer.”